Care homes and COVID19

17th April 2020

The government’s disregard of care home residents – old, sick people, acutely vulnerable to COVID19 – has been scandalous.

As a GP, I regularly visit care homes. At one I visit, they recently had eight residents who died in a week, probably from coronavirus. But there’s no testing, so who could possibly know…

When COVID struck, many things were not known, and could not possibly have been predicted. The transmission rate, the case fatality rate, the best way to treat those infected.

However, it was very clear, very early on, that COVID was killing the elderly in far greater numbers than anyone else. In Italy, the early figures released revealed that the average age of death was seventy-nine. The figures were slightly higher in Germany, and around eighty years old in pretty much every other country.

Equally, it was known that amongst the elderly who were dying, almost all of them had other serious medical conditions. Heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic pulmonary disease and suchlike. This is often known in my line of work as “multimorbidity.”

In a world of uncertainty, one thing stood out. Which is that the unwell elderly were the ones who were most likely to die. Equally, they were the ones most likely to end up in hospital, potentially overwhelming the health services. As happened in Italy and Spain.

Ergo, you would think that someone, somewhere in the UK government, would have asked the obvious question. Where do we have the greatest concentrations of elderly, frail, people with multimorbidity? Could it possibly be that they are being looked after in care homes around the country?

Nursing homes, residential homes, care homes. They are all pretty much the same thing nowadays. Nursing homes tend to look after those with greater health needs, and they must have registered nurses looking after patients, but the distinctions have become blurred.

Many care homes are also specialised in looking after the elderly with dementia. In the UK, they are called EMI units [elderly mentally infirm]. These represent a particular problem in that residents tend to wander about from room to room.

So, in care homes we potentially had the perfect storm for the pandemic. They are full of elderly and infirm and highly vulnerable people. Environments where it is often impossible to isolate residents, and staff who have never been adequately trained in isolation measures. Equally, whilst relatives cannot visit hospitals, care homes have been continuing to allow them in.

It is not as if the warning signs were not there, flashing red.

What was the government’s strategy for dealing with nursing homes?  It has been, up until the last couple of days, to make things even worse. The instructions from the Dept of Health have been to send patients diagnosed with COVID out of hospital, and back into care homes, with instructions to “barrier nurse” them, a term for a set of stringent infection control techniques.  Care homes were informed that they could not refuse to take the residents back.

All of which means that the staff end up attempting to barrier nurse COVID positive patients with flimsy surgical masks, no eye protection, no gowns and gloves that, in my case, disintegrate rapidly and are almost completely useless. Until very recently, nursing home staff, in many homes, were told not to wear masks, and this was true even when there were COVID positive patients in the home.

The focus, the entire focus, has been to clear patients out of hospitals, waiting for the deluge of patients. This has been so effective that, in my area of Cheshire, the local hospitals have never been so empty.

There are wards with no patients in them. The shiny new Nightingale hospital in London, with four thousand beds, apparently had, so I am informed, just nineteen patients in it last weekend. Yet still the pressure still comes down: get patients out of hospital and back into care homes.

At the same time, all the effective personal protective equipment (PPE) has been directed to hospitals and hospital wards. Care homes have been almost unable to access anything. I scavenge what I can before I visit. I keep being told that things have improved. By those who haven’t seen a patient – or the inside of a care home – for years.

I have also watched patients go down very rapidly and die. COVID is a strange disease that kills people in a way that I have never witnessed before. In some cases, very quickly. I have tried to suggest that hospitals are the best place to look after potentially infectious people, not care homes. No-one has been interested.

Now, of course, the disaster is unfolding. The entirely predictable disaster. Here, from The Guardian:

‘Care home leaders have accused the government of vastly underestimating the deaths of elderly people from coronavirus, as they warned the disease may be circulating in more than 50% of nursing homes and mortality is significantly higher than official figures.

Operators of several large care providers accused the government of not paying enough attention to the tragedy unfolding in residential settings across England, as figures from three of the largest chains show 620 deaths from COVID-19 in recent weeks.’

As I mentioned earlier, in one care home that I visit, they recently had eight deaths in seven days. Were these COVID deaths? Who knows for sure. No-one was tested. No-one is tested. The staff are not tested. I have patients who have died quickly. What do I put on the death certificate? COVID? Well I cannot, not really, because I have no idea if they had COVID or not.

It seems clear that many, many, COVID deaths in care homes will not even be registered as COVID deaths, so the figures are almost certainly worse here than are being reported.

I think we all recognise that the COVID pandemic has hit the country with great force, and that the Government has had to react at great speed. You can agree or disagree with some of the actions. However, one thing that stands out is that complete and utter abject failure to grasp the impact of COVID on care homes.

The actions taken, so far, have made the problem far, far, worse. All the thinking and resources have been directed to the NHS. Meanwhile, the residents and the staff of nursing homes have been, effectively, thrown in front of a bus. On Thursdays, while others have been clapping the NHS, I have been clapping for the unsung heroes of this epidemic. The care home staff.

310 thoughts on “Care homes and COVID19

  1. Stephanie

    Well said, personally I think they have messed up really badly on many fronts, and they are working on damage limitation by not investigating care home deaths or indeed even providing the care homes with adequate PPE.

    Maybe some things were beyond their control but they were woefully slow to respond when many other countries were warning of the impending danger.

    Reply
  2. Janet Thomas

    Well said! Is it not possible for care homes to refuse to take an infected patient, and for GPs to refuse to sign a death certificate for a patient who is suspected of having died of Covid-19 without having a blood test done?

    Reply
  3. LA_Bob

    Very sobering. Very sad.

    I doubt frail, elderly people in nursing homes (as we call them in the USA) are much of a voting constituency. Politicians may not all be cold and callous, but they are pragmatic. About some things.

    Reply
  4. Geoff Arden

    I was listening to this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=361&v=C3ldtVWKlQI&feature=emb_logo

    and at 6mins45sec in, I hear that our friend Fergoid from IC

    heads up what is called the “Vaccine Impact Modelling Consortium”

    https://www.vaccineimpact.org

    We have sort of heard that he has talked completely sensible and reasonable things like .. an 18 month lockdown .. and only coming out of it if a VACCINE was available …

    I hadn’t realised the two were so intimately connected ………..

    as the author of this article; http://inproportion2.talkigy.com/not_good_with_numbers.html who has a PhD in modelling commented

    “One of his favourite sayings when discussing the results from financial models was, and still is,
    “Here are some numbers we made up earlier”.”

    so one could suggest a degree of a conflict of interest here; Fergoid dreams up a model; he seems dead keen on vaccines; Gates seems heavily behind all this stuff too: he has funded the IHME model that the US has used

    https://www.gatesfoundation.org/media-center/press-releases/2017/01/ihme-announcement

    and I guess chaps in the UK don’t have to disclose sordid details like where the cash comes from; so do we know where Fergoid might get donations from? Sort of like our old chum, the inestimable Prof Rory Collins at Oxford; all beneath their dignity to disclose where the cash comes from.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Yes, and Rory Collins, who is now running the UK Biobank, has convinced the Government that confidential patient information must now be released (by law), and sent to the Biobank for them to review. So, we’re locked down, ordered about, and even our confidential medical information is in the hands of Rory Collins and his pharmaceutical company sponsors. GDPR has been overridden.

      Reply
      1. Geoff Arden

        thanks: from the Biobank website; https://www.ukbiobank.ac.uk I had not heard of this Biobank;

        “UK Biobank aims to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of serious and life-threatening illnesses – including cancer, heart diseases, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, eye disorders, depression and forms of dementia.”

        How ironical that a statinista would be overseeing this. How many of the above have increased incidence with the statins??!!

        Reply
        1. AhNotepad

          These egos are so arrogant, and expect to be permitted to inflict their allopathic solutions on people who have been damaged by the pharma associated industries. Ie big ag, and so called “food” .

          Reply
        2. Frederica Huxley

          Sadly, we signed up for Biobank, with the naive thought that it was set up for worldwide research. Little did we realise, that like so many medical charities, it was set up purely for the benefit of big pharma.

          Reply
      2. Anna M

        And, partially in response to your post of 2 posts back, I called and emailed all my local government reps. About 5, legislators, governor, that sort of thing, to urge them that our hospitals are empty and nurses are being furloughed by the hundreds, and that this will ultimately lead to a secondary crisis as ordinary people go without care. One answered, but none of the others have, nor did any of their offices answer their phones. I thought if they were working from home they would answer the phones. They have a box to check with the email if you want a response and I always checked it. So – crickets.
        I think now would be a great time for another country to come take over. There’s no one government.

        Reply
        1. Tom Welsh

          But we have the ideal defence – no one would want to take over the UK. What is there here of any value? Except perhaps the world’s greatest proven deposits of political correctness, greed and hypocrisy.

          Reply
      3. Tish Farrell

        Please excuse this question if it sounds naive, but if it turns out that, as Prof Johan Giesecke postulates, that many people will have had the virus without noticing, but that for elderly people with underlying conditions the outlook is largely terminal, then what is the thinking with a vaccine? To vaccinate us all so we don’t infect the vulnerable?

        Reply
        1. andy

          Hi Tish: theoretically the purpose of universal covid19 vaccination is to eradicate the pandemic in order for life to get back to normal. The beauty of this approach is that absolutely nothing else will have to change for the health care system or the politicians. There might be some inconveniences for individuals, but we have to sacrifice for the greater good. In the meantime beware of fake cures. Hope this answers your question.

          Reply
          1. andy

            Hi Tish: traditionally that is what happens, one bag for the company, one bag for the scientists, and one bag for friends and politicians.

        2. elizabethhart

          Good question Tish, what is the thinking with a vaccine? If most people are able to mount their own response to the novel coronavirus, is it ethical to promote a vaccine?

          In regards to young people’s and others’ right to natural immunity, it’s also vital to consider the startling admission by Heidi Larson, Director of The Vaccine Confidence Project, during the WHO Global Vaccine Safety Summit late last year, i.e. “…We’ve shifted the human population…to dependency on vaccine-induced immunity…We’re in a very fragile state now. We have developed a world that is dependent on vaccinations”.

          Again, if most people are able to deal with the novel coronavirus themselves, is it ethical to push a vaccine product, to try and make people dependent on the vaccine industry for protection? This becomes even more concerning when vaccines don’t work, and revaccination over and over again is promoted, e.g. flu vaccines

          We have to learn to deal with epidemics and illnesses as they emerge, it’s not feasible to vaccinate the global population against every threat.

          I raised these matters in a rapid response published on The BMJ website, see:
          Is it ethical to impede access to natural immunity? The case of SARS-CoV2:
          https://www.bmj.com/content/368/bmj.m1089/rr-6

          Reply
          1. Tish Farrell

            Elizabeth: thank you for elucidating and elaborating on the issue over-vaccination. This is rather where my thoughts are heading. It seems we are being herded into being vaccine vassals and by corporations that should be plastered with international health warnings.

          2. Harry de Boer

            You can invert the question. If acquiring herd immunity means that 50% of the elderly die, is it ethical not to wait in lockdown until a vaccine is found?

            Personally I still believe Dr. Didier Raoult from Marseille is posting/updating the answer every day on his website mediterranee-infection.com/covid-19 where he posts the number of confirmed cases treated with hydroxychloroquine + azithromycine (currently 2853) with the number of deaths after 3 or more days treatment with this cocktail (currently 12). That is a case mortality rate of 0.4%, not bad if you ask me. Then they also treat people ‘normally’ and then the case mortality rate is much higher: 93/4479 = 2% or five times worse. Of course we will need a thoroughly published study from his group.
            Then there is this Dr. Zelenko who out of more than 500 patients claims a mortality rate of 0.2% (I understand 1 of his patients died) while adding zinc to Raoult’s cocktail, I think this will assure there is no zinc deficiency in the treated patients.
            Together with the outcry of this courageous Dr. Cameron Kyle-Sidell who questions the protocol used for the already or to be intubated patients because the response looks more like HAPE than SARS.

            I think we’re iterating ourselves to a way of treating patients that will be much more successful in terms of survival rate and might get rid of the need for a vaccine because the old as well as the young will acquire immunity without too much fatalities, and the still to be born are so young that they won’t even be bothered by the vaccine.

          3. AhNotepad

            It may not feasible to vaccinate the global population against every threat, but the pharmaceutical companies will do their best to ensure as many people as possible are stabbed with a needle. Big pharma are not interested in health, they are interested only in money, and since they have largely no liability for product failure, they are laughing all the way to the bank. Big pharma are the only ones who get immunity from vaccines, everyone else is inflicted with a morphed disease.

          4. Tom Welsh

            “Big pharma are the only ones who get immunity from vaccines…”

            Very neatly and elegantly put, AhNotepad. I am afraid I shall use that statement myself in future!

          5. Jerome Savage

            Taiwans Prof Peter Chang Harvard-educated, he was a visiting scientist at the National Institutes of Health, a professor at Taipei Medical University and Kaohsiung Medical University, senior medical advisor to the National Taipei Hospital talks tough w.r.t. WHO.
            https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/health-family/how-taiwan-has-confounded-predictions-in-fending-off-the-worst-of-covid-19-1.4229660?mode=amp
            Long article, the following piece comes near the end.
            “must say I have concerns about how WHO handled Covid-19. My understanding is that WHO didn’t serve their purpose very much on this case. Their early report only happened on the last day of December. The first report was December 31st, and in early January they reported a new virus. But it was almost one month too late as the virus was already in human transmission in Wuhan in November or early December.
            In late December in Wuhan, there were 100 cases of the virus in the hospital. And there were 10 times more people in the community who already had the virus. You could tell that in many, many shops or theatres or whatever, the people working there have the virus already. But WHO had no news at all. The awareness was very low.
            I think that for WHO, the alert was really coming in in late January. And they pushed a very low profile. The director general only announced the global international health concern on January 30th when he returned to Geneva from Beijing. And then there is the matter of the WHO executive board meeting. Usually it takes place in the third week of January, but somehow there was a two-weeks delay until February 3rd. It never happened before in WHO history. Who knows what’s the reason for the decision by the director general?
            Okay, it was a planned delay, it was not unexpected. But if that had happened as usual in the third week of January, I think it would have put WHO in a place of better preparedness to bring up the issue. On February 3rd, when the executive board meeting happened, the director general was coming back from China and he had to respond to the media and the executive board asking what was going on. And then WHO started to mobilise. So there was also an in-house delay of about two weeks. And I didn’t know why. There was never such a delay before. The alert was almost one month later than it should have been. There is something wrong with WHO, this deserves more attention by international communities.”

          6. elizabethhart

            Oxford University’s Coronavirus vaccine could be given to UK volunteers ‘within the next week or so’: https://www.ibtimes.sg/oxford-universitys-coronavirus-vaccine-could-be-given-uk-volunteers-within-next-week-so-43281

            Some quotes from the article:

            As per the researchers at the University of Oxford, they are trying to develop a vaccine for Coronavirus. The experts hope that they will have a candidate ready for the clinical trial soon. As part of their preparations, the team of Oxford scientists aim to have at least a million doses available by about September.”

            and

            The team lead, Sarah Gilbert, a professor of vaccinology at Oxford University believes that the COVID-19 vaccine will be available for use by the general public before December 2020. She also mentioned that scientists can never be sure that the potential vaccines are going to work.

            Previously she explained that she was 80 percent confident of the vaccine’s success. Gilbert said that “Personally, I have a high degree of confidence. This is my view, because I’ve worked with this technology a lot, and I’ve worked on the Mers vaccine trials, and I’ve seen what that can do. And, I think, it has a very strong chance of working.”

            Earlier, Oxford University researchers warned that the process to create a vaccine will be challenging if the outbreak peaks before a potential cure are ready for trials. The Oxford researchers said with no tests available to identify who has already been infected with Coronavirus, it could be difficult to find unexposed people to participate in the trial. However, as per the university over 500 volunteers aged between 18 and 55 have signed up to the trial and will begin tests toward the end of the month.

        3. Peter Downey

          Interesting about Prof Giesecke. This worth listening to, particularly in the light of our press (left and right) and I believe the press of other Nordic countries, minding Sweden’s business, postively demanding that they fail. I have been watching on twitter a lot on this and it’s significant that suddenly there is less and less of people talking of Sweden’s (failing) ‘experiment.’ One quote from the interview;
          “We were very pleased we were having the same policy as the UK…. but then Johnson made his 180 deg turn.”

          https://unherd.com/thepost/coming-up-epidemiologist-prof-johan-giesecke-shares-lessons-from-sweden/

          Reply
          1. Tish Farrell

            Peter Downey: This is definitely worth watching. For starters Prof Giesecke seems an utterly rational, intelligent individual who uses his critical faculties to their fullest extent. When it comes to those who rule us, I am feeling famine-stricken of intelligent debate. So much sub-standardly contrived claptrap devised for mass media transmission.

  5. juliawands

    It would also appear, although it is hard to know what to believe any more, that English supply companies of PPE have also been ‘advised’ to favour English care homes, rather than Scottish. I’ve no idea about Wales and N Ireland. Quite frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me if that is the case. Now, aside from the headlines, I actually can’t bear to watch this daily unfolding debacle in any detail. I pity those poor souls who possibly don’t even understand why their family hasn’t been in, or a favourite career is no longer at work.

    Reply
  6. Peter Williamsc

    I think the real culprits are our mainstream media. The government’s strategy was driven by the pressure on the them, by our media, to plan for a massive demand for NHS beds. Surprisingly many are lying empty.

    Reply
    1. manerg

      I think you have the cart pushing the horse! The media do what their owners tell them. And who owns the media? Much the same people as who owns the government. The majority of the media are marching in step with the government, completely non-critical.

      Reply
      1. Harry de Boer

        Exactly this, and they are incredibly good at suppressing information that their owners don’t want out in the wild, so they can evangelise Gates’ vaccines while blocking successful treatment strategies.

        Reply
        1. chris c

          A talking head the other day proclaimed that just because you have antibodies didn’t make you immune. Unlike the vaccine, obviously.

          Anyone else think it is odd that they have a vaccine so soon? You’d almost think they knew it would be needed.

          Reply
          1. Anna M

            So far as I know, any immunity that comes from having the disease is better than an vaccine.

          2. Gary Ogden

            Anna M: That appears to be true, but it will never be proven (proof in science means to test) in a clinical trial.

    2. Aileen

      This morning I took part in a training course, on an empty ward (currently given over to training courses) with a wonderful view over the nearby town. There were six of us, and there were six empty beds, so we each had a seat next to an empty bed – preserving social distance, of course. Never mind that in our cramped day-to-day office, social distancing is, well, impossible.

      Roughly half the beds in our hospital are empty at present. We have a few cases of covid, but not many. We have shut down most of the hospital. There is little happening in outpatients beyond telephone consultations. When you do ask the more urgent patients if they will come in for an appointment, most refuse. They opt for a telephone call instead, or an appointment in a few months.

      Reply
      1. Tom Welsh

        As far as I can see – and from what Dr Kendrick writes – it seems that official policy is to keep anyone suspected of carrying the Covid-19 virus out of hospitals, clinics and GP surgeries. After all, we don’t want any disease getting in there, do we?

        It rather make me wonder what happened to all the taxes we have paid over the years to support the NHS, when anyone suspected of being sick – or likely to become sick – is given a leper’s bell and ordered to stay far away.

        Reply
    3. Anna M

      But Peter,
      I don’t know what side of the Atlantic you are on, but we have to ask who owns the media. They are owned and are huge conglomerates/corporations. Who is calling the shots?

      Reply
  7. Pauline Jepp

    Hello
    Thankyou for email

    May I ask …….. as being over 65 there is a pneumonia vaccine

    Should I have C19. Could this vaccine prevent me suffering bad pneumonia please?

    Kind regards and good wishes

    Pauline
    Sent from my iPad

    Reply
    1. Anna M

      It’s a good question but my guess is no. I don’t think it would be the same organism and the Covid pneumonia isn’t even a true pneumonia if I understand aright. Rather it has something to do with iron and hemoglobin causing oxygen failure.

      Reply
    2. Dave

      Sorry no, the pneumonia vaccine given to over 65s is for a different type of pneumonia to that which is part of COVID-19. The vaccine is for something called pneumococcal pneumonia, which is caused by bacteria.

      Reply
    3. Vanessa Windust

      I asked Dr Kendrick if he thought the pneumonia vaccination could be of any use; In fact I have searched international websItes asking this question with no success.
      I felt that it just might alleviate the lung damage.
      The other day I read a similar question in a newspaper, and if my memory is correct I think it was the TV doctor Hilary, Who said:
      “I’m afraid it doesn’t. It specifically protects against …..pneumococcus which can cause a secondary bacterial infection in someone who has a viral pneumonia, but the vaccine does not protect against corona virus itself.”
      My own non-professional feeling is just that it may reduce the damage.
      As an elderly person, I am glad I took the opportunity to receive the pneumonia vaccination years ago.
      People like the BBC keep saying, there is no evidence of this, that and the other. To me, this is simply admitting they do not know answers to many questions, and do not want to risk legal actions being taken against them, by being seen to agree or disagree with comments.
      For instance they said there was no evidence of coronavirus passing between animals and humans, when I remarked a dog in Hong Kong caught it from its owner. BBC denied this even happened.
      I got the report from an English newspaper in China. The dog in question was quarantined for a short time, was released, and then died. Then a second dog caught it. Later a tiger and assorted animals in a zoo were reported as having caught it from the zoo keeper who had it.
      Needless to add, I personally do not trust either our UK government nor the BBC.
      Determined research on websites around the world gives me a wider view and overcomes the National propaganda machine of any particular country – but allowing for false news and idiots.

      Reply
      1. Tom Welsh

        “People like the BBC keep saying, there is no evidence of this, that and the other”.

        Yes, so they do. I always imagine such persons as issuing their denials while wearing blinkers and dark glasses and with their hands over their ears, shouting “La la la I can’t hear you!”

        There usually is evidence, but “there is none so blind as he who will not see”. (Where “will” has the original sense of “want to”).

        Reply
  8. Göran Sjöberg

    This reminds me of my own mother who, at 85, was hit by an influenza at her nice nursing home and in a bad state 2002 was transferred to a hospital on my advice.

    The attending nurse with great experience was though very hesitant of sending her to the hospital in her bad state and actually my mother did not get much of attention, if any, at the hospital and she passed away within one day. So – this was in retrospect a misstake from my side.

    BTW the year 2002 saw a surge in influenza death.

    Reply
    1. Shaun Clark

      Hi Goran: I had the flu in 2002. I was 51 at the time. It was a shocker. It was as bad as the flu I had in 1957, but different. I ‘missed’ the flu in 1968 as I had migrated to Australia in August, but got that flu strain (horrible lower and upper respiratory infections) when it really hit me badly in December/January 2017/18. Anyway, the nasty 2002 flu wracked me in my joints for about 2 weeks solid. I now know that was a cytokine storm. A truly terrible experience. It virtually immobilized me. When I got a wee bit fitter I re-started jogging – and got shingles! Aaaarrgh!! I now take a range of prophylactic meds to keep me in the clear, as fitness alone did not protect me. When the clocks go back in the UK I take a double-dose of Vit D until the clocks go forward again in March. So far, so good. Yay, for Vit D!

      Reply
      1. Göran Sjöberg

        Shaun, interesting!

        As I use to say: Didn’t miss any cold or flu for 60 years but now basically have missed all (except once a really bad one) since we turned to LCHF. This may turn the most stubborn into a “believer”.

        It though surprises me that even people with a research background can be closing their ears to evidence, as a stubborn friend of mine with CVD and bypassed and also with T2D. When we were young we used to exercise together but today he has not much of physical energy left.

        Well, fight to preserve your immune system (it is all about that in my opinion) with food and supplements – old hippocratic thinking!

        Reply
  9. Richard Winterbottom

    Are care home residents being admitted to hospital? It seems to me many are not and are dying in the care homes. The 106 year old lady who survived and was clapped out of hospital did not live in a care home.

    Reply
    1. Jerome Savage

      Thank you.
      If only a fraction of the energy & resources that are and were being used to close down the economy with accrual of mega costs to the taxpayer, was used instead at “where its at” ie applied to those who are vulnerable things would be better. (No need for superlatives)
      When we buy in to a screaming headline, click on an emotion soaked sirenic line are we contributing to the paranoia & misinformation? Sorry to say, this so well clarified, only confirms my worst fears,

      Reply
  10. Janet Hickie

    Thank you for posting this. They are definitely the unsung heroes. Often giving close personal care. They should be prioritized for PPE. I hope someone in government is reading this and will move things forward.My sister works as accountant by day and a carer some evenings again PPE sparse.   While I am here can someone explain why people have to die alone? The day before they were maybe at home with their relatives living in the same household but once taken into hospital what changes the risk?

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad

    Reply
    1. Martha

      Some care homes and wards are allowing one relative to come in, gown up and visit, usually at the end if there’s time, but then they are not allowed to go to the funeral and instructed to go into 7 day self isolation….at what can be the most traumatic time of their lives.

      Reply
  11. brainunwashed

    How are we going to pay for the NHS and for the untold numbers who have been denied timely medical intervention because of the baying MSM mob forcing politicians to destroy the economy and millions of peoples lives. All because of the discredited Professor Neil Ferguson, of the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College in London. His team produced a paper predicting that Britain was on course to lose 250,000 people during the coronavirus epidemic unless stringent measures were taken. His research is said to have convinced Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his advisors to introduce the lockdown.

    Six questions that Neil Ferguson should be asked
    Q1.
    In 2005, Ferguson said that up to 200 million people could be killed from bird flu. He told the Guardian that ‘around 40 million people died in 1918 Spanish flu outbreak… There are six times more people on the planet now so you could scale it up to around 200 million people probably.’ In the end, only 282 people died worldwide from the disease between 2003 and 2009.
    How did he get this forecast so wrong?
    Q2.
    In 2009, Ferguson and his Imperial team predicted that swine flu had a case fatality rate 0.3 per cent to 1.5 per cent. His most likely estimate was that the mortality rate was 0.4 per cent. A government estimate, based on Ferguson’s advice, said a ‘reasonable worst-case scenario’ was that the disease would lead to 65,000 UK deaths.
    In the end swine flu killed 457 people in the UK and had a death rate of just 0.026 per cent in those infected.
    Why did the Imperial team overestimate the fatality of the disease? That prediction wasn’t just nonsense, it was dangerous nonsense.
    Q3.
    In 2001 the Imperial team produced modelling on foot and mouth disease that suggested that animals in neighbouring farms should be culled, even if there was no evidence of infection. This influenced government policy and led to the total culling of more than six million cattle, sheep and pigs – with a cost to the UK economy estimated at £10 billion.
    It has been claimed by experts such as Michael Thrusfield, professor of veterinary epidemiology at Edinburgh University, that Ferguson’s modelling on foot and mouth was ‘severely flawed’ and made a ‘serious error’ by ‘ignoring the species composition of farms,’ and the fact that the disease spread faster between different species.
    Does Ferguson acknowledge that his modelling in 2001 was flawed and if so, has he taken steps to avoid future mistakes?
    Q4.
    In 2002, Ferguson predicted that between 50 and 50,000 people would likely die from exposure to BSE (mad cow disease) in beef. He also predicted that number could rise to 150,000 if there was a sheep epidemic as well. In the UK, there have only been 177 deaths from BSE.
    Does Ferguson believe that his ‘worst-case scenario’ in this case was too high? If so, what lessons has he learnt when it comes to his modelling since?
    Q5.
    Ferguson’s disease modelling for Covid-19 has been criticised by experts such as John Ioannidis, professor in disease prevention at Stanford University, who has said that: ‘The Imperial College study has been done by a highly competent team of modellers. However, some of the major assumptions and estimates that are built in the calculations seem to be substantially inflated.’
    Has the Imperial team’s Covid-19 model been subject to outside scrutiny from other experts, and are the team questioning their own assumptions used? What safeguards are in place?
    Q6.
    On 22 March, Ferguson said that Imperial College London’s model of the Covid-19 disease is based on undocumented, 13-year-old computer code, that was intended to be used for a feared influenza pandemic, rather than a coronavirus.
    How many assumptions in the Imperial model are still based on influenza and is there any risk that the modelling is flawed because of these assumptions?

    In 2018 ten million people got Tuberculosis Worldwide. 1.5 million of that 10 million died from Tuberculosis in one year. That is a fatality rate of 15% and Tuberculosis is airborne and highly contagious. Guess what, the World didnt shut down.

    Reply
    1. Geoff Arden

      so well said; we can only hope that Ferguson may be called to account.

      I have been listening to the author Nassim Nicholas Taleb; his recent book was called “Skin in the game”: he would say folks who cause problems, should be held accountable. Many worry that teflon prophets (profits?) like Ferguson will escape; like his leader in 2001, RM Anderson, who was knighted!!! ….. for their calamitous involvement in the FMD; ……

      I predict Ferguson will be knighted …… arise Sir Nial! …….. for the marvellous modelling you have done.

      as this author http://inproportion2.talkigy.com/not_good_with_numbers.html commented

      “Here are some numbers we made up earlier”

      PS RM Anderson is discussed here (Sir to you!!) https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1344293/Oxford-scientist-wins-the-battle-for-her-reputation.html

      Reply
    2. AhNotepad

      brainunwashed, thank you for that summary of the Life and Times of the Fergoid. It should be mandated reading for those who think the government is acting on the best scientific advice, as it has frequently claimed.

      Reply
    3. manerg

      “Six questions that Neil Ferguson should be asked”

      Are they the same 6 questions that The Spectator want to ask him? You haven’t just cut n’ pasted them have you?

      Reply
        1. AhNotepad

          If they were the Spectator’s questions, the etiquette would be to cite the source. This doesn’t make the points any less valuable, it just gives a fuller picture.

          Reply
    4. James DownUnder

      Simple. No scope for a ‘novel’ TB vaccine, besides, TB is more likely to infect / affect the Great Unwashed living in deprived lower socio-economic environments… Not us.

      Reply
    5. Harry de Boer

      Maybe someone should inform you that Imperial College received more than 70 million dollar from the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation… So now we know who wants them to publish those over-hyped numbers. And who seems to have an interest in this lockdown.

      Reply
  12. John

    There is one issue that needs to be pointed out and that i a lot of care homes are private businesses and as such it is the owners of the care homes who have a legal responsibility to provide adequate PPE under health and safety legislation and also to take steps to ensure the health and safety of staff, residents and visitors. Failure to do so is a criminal offence with heavy penalties and any such failures reported to the HSE.
    Otherwise I totally agree with everything that has been said, it was a disaster waiting to happen.

    Reply
    1. David R

      Does the same apply to the NHS? – didn’t think so. Well it does really because H&S applies even to the military. Do I detect a bias here John.

      Reply
      1. John

        I’m not sure what bias you think I have. I am currently a nurse practitioner working in a primary care setting that is a hot hub for suspected CoViD19. Prior to this I worked in industry and was involved in the health and safety committee. Up until the 1980’s, IIRC, the NHS had crown immunity from H&S legislation amongst others, but not anymore. The RCN and NMC have said that nurses who refuse to treat without adequate PPE will not necessarily be

        https://rcni.com/nursing-standard/newsroom/news/covid-19-nmc-moves-to-reassure-registrants-over-refusal-to-treat-due-to-lack-of-ppe-160086

        Reply
    2. MikeC

      Hmm. Follow that argument and then the care homes have to close as soon as they cannot provide required PPE. No ifs or buts. I’m not sure I like that outcome – or any of the offered outcomes at the moment.
      The shortage of PPE is worldwide. The UK manufactures relatively little of it and in normal times would rely on importing it from places like China – where they’ve needed quite a lot of it themselves recently. Similar is true for PCR test kits and reagents.
      We (the UK and other ‘developed’ countries) seem to have fallen into a trap of not being self-reliant on what appears now to be essential matters. We don’t and can’t (now) make enough PPE to meet current demand. We ‘import’ many doctors and nurses. We ‘outsource’ our software writing to other countries. We have to ‘import’ harvest workers (every year). The list could go on and on.

      Reply
    3. John Wilkinson

      Absolutely right.
      Before I retired, I worked for an organisation where PPE was issued automatically upon joining. If you were caught not wearing it, you had the usual warnings as per the rules and if you persisted, you were out. It was a written condition of employment.
      Money is the only reason these private companies have not issued staff with PPE and any absence of it should have been reported an awfully long time ago. As they’re dealing with vulnerable people who are highly likely to become infected from other illness, this situation should have been rectified long before this virus came along.
      As John says, this is a serious issue and one that these “care” homes should have been punished, a very long time ago.

      Reply
    4. Jennifer

      John. In days gone by, if 8 people in one week had died in a Nursing Home, I imagine the bobbies would have been braying the door down. Why not now?

      Reply
  13. AhNotepad

    This whole situation is appalling. The government will carry on with its ill thought through plans, and continue to screw up life for most people. They have no respect for people, so they patronisingly say they cannot divulge an exit strategy, even assuming they have one.

    The care home situation is bad in itself, but at least one hospital I have inside information from, is elderly admissions are marked as “end of life”. …………………..

    Reply
    1. Martha

      When the ‘at risk’ population were sent their letters many were asked to sign a DNR. An 84 and 89 yr old that I know refused. So… the government come across as very caring….’you take care now’….oh but by the way….can you sign this suicide form to salve our consciences…..

      Reply
      1. Dvaid R

        Yes Martha. To summarise society’s thinking –
        Your old granny (i am married to one) can die in a bad flu epidemic like 2014/15 no problem – just make sure you all die slowly enough over a long enough period of months, so as not to inconvenience us.

        But the mere mention of a new coronavirus and we will trash the future of the next generation. After all we have spent all their money already!!

        Reply
  14. Sue Richardson

    I was watching The North West News about this very thing, last night I think. Many of the care homes in the NorthWest are desperate, and it is the same all over. It is truly a disgrace. Many of the elderly in these homes are those who fought in WW2. They have probably worked all their lives and paid taxes, and they deserve to be cared for properly. The care home staff are obviously deeply concerned, and our government ought to be ashamed. Who on earth has been advising them? They should be sacked.

    Reply
    1. teedee126

      Agreed, Sue. Our elderly deserve so much better than to end their lives in such chaos and misery. Our culture simply doesn’t respect people ‘of a certain age’ as was evident to me on Twitter a few weeks ago. I was sickened to see that Twitter allowed the hashtag, “Boomer Remover” to trend..if you followed the hashtag to the source of comments, you’d see that they were all joking (and some fervently hoping) that COVID-19 would literally kill off the Boomer generation. Why, specifically? In the majority of posts, it was because they didn’t vote the way progressives wanted them to. Pure evil, imho, and despicable and hypocritical on Twitter’s part, as they’re only too quick to suspend people for ‘disrespectful behavior’ on myriad other issues.

      Reply
  15. Terry Wright

    Phew; there is enormous distress about. I am sorry to see Dr Kendrick so distressed about all the issues. We greatly respect him in all things.

    An ICU textbook of 20 years ago (Dr Civetta) talked of life as like the rising and setting of the sun. As our age advances, we move slowly towards a horizon. Dr Civetta talked of being “heroically thoughtful” .. ” aggressively compassionate” .. “fiercely patient” …. “angrily cautious” … to try to balance all the macho phrases that so characterise what one might describe as US medical soap operas.

    An idea should be that we look after folks, as they would wish to have been looked after. A generation that grew up so long ago; may; just possibly; they may not aspire to what our modern world seems to wish for: eternal life.

    It is said that medicine sees death as a failure. There is so much co-morbidity around; so many folks are so burdened with what Dr Kendrick so eloquently describes as “multi-morbidity”.

    All I think I wanted to say; before being torn to pieces by everyone; is that pneumonia used to be called “an old man’s friend”. We seem to regret every loss of life as an affront to our modern society. I am just not sure that it is as stark, and unyielding, as that.

    Reply
    1. Tom Welsh

      ‘All I think I wanted to say; before being torn to pieces by everyone; is that pneumonia used to be called “an old man’s friend”’.

      Quite right, Terry; it did. And it’s true to a considerable extent. As any doctor will tell you, hardly anyone can hope for a calm, peaceful or pain-free death (although some apparently “fall asleep and don’t wake up”).

      Pneumonia may sound ghastly to anyone who has no experience of death or serious illness; but all four of my grandparents and my father died of cancer, and I would not wish their long-drawn-out agony on the worst of human beings. To drown in a few days must be far preferable to months of extreme agony, when the maximum permissible dose of pain-killer no longer even takes the edge off the pain.

      Reply
    2. Harry de Boer

      If the current pandemic is anyone’s friend, then it’s the pension funds I guess, by I can’t manage to link that to Bill Gates, so I guess this is a multi-leveled crisis.
      Which to me begs the question: where the heck does this virus come from…
      Actually, there are 2, the L- and the S-variety.
      There’s a lab in Wuhan, research payed by the USA, there were military games in Wuhan shortly before the outbreak, anything can have happened, it only needs the right groups with the right interests and control over one or two persons who work there.
      Anyway, enough for now.

      Reply
  16. Soul

    Nice article. It does sound like it would make greater sense to have the elderly looked after and cared for at hospitals, hospitals that are now frequently empty of patients. Here in the US I’ve seen a few grim articles about the situation in elderly retirement homes. In the city of Seattle in particular, early on most deaths from the Wuhan virus were reported at a retirement home. There was another place where it was said many elderly had died but it had not been reported to authorities for some reason.

    I can recall when my grandmother was placed into such a home, as she could not longer care for herself and need round the clock care, I often said I wish the staff was paid well. I doubt they were, but with the work required and abuse given by older folks with mental issues, it appeared to be a thankless job all to often.

    On other news, ambulance service works, sadly. For the first time in while I saw an ambulance today. It was at the eye surgeons house this afternoon. He’s been home often it appears since the lock down as I see him out side with family. Before seeing him was a rare sight, no pun intended.

    Reply
  17. Ann

    It is reported that all the patients treated with high dose IV vitamin C in China survived.
    Here Chinese vitamin C researcher Doris Loh explains the biochemical mechanism, with references:

    Reply
    1. James DownUnder

      Ann, no point in tilting at the windmills of Conventional Allopathic Busine… er, Medicine. Repeat after me, ‘Vitamin C can’t be patented and sold at a huge mark-up, therefore it must never be used in case it actually works.’
      ‘Medicine’ has an opinion of Vit C which is based on Dogma, not facts. – Why else would a doctor stop a therapy that has just proved itself efficacious ? (Allan Smith, New Zealand ca 2009)

      Reply
      1. Stuart

        Alan Smith cured by Vitamin C? No, no, no – it was a bus passing by the hospital! Didn’t you hear that doctor on the NZ 60 Minutes story saying that? Oh and “proning” him (turning him onto his stomach). It is pure coincidence that that particular bus passed the hospital after they just happened to give him IV C (under threat of legal action) and he then started to improve. It’s also pure coincidence that Alan deteriorated again after a new doctor stopped the IV C and only improved after its resumption following a court injunction. Clearly the bus had been reassigned to a different route during the days Alan went downhill. So move along folks, nothing to see here.

        Reply
    2. V Windust

      Many weeks ago I read in China plasma transfusions were a good idea at this time. Weeks later the UK opened their eyes to this idea.
      Apart from WHO, there should be more world wide sharing of findings. If each nation works separately on the same problems, they are wasting time.
      I hope that Brexit notwithstanding, at least Europe is still sharing recent medical findings with the British who no longer want to be their friend.

      Reply
    3. Harry de Boer

      Ann, this is amazingly clear. I’ve come across an article of hers supposedly describing the same but it was too hard for me to swallow. This one however shines out in clarity.
      I’m already stocked up on both liposomal vitamin C and sodium ascorbate but this is a nice confirmation that it was the right thing to do.
      Of course the official mantra will be that ‘there is no evidence whatsoever that vitamin C could play a role in fighting this disease’.
      I wonder how her piano play would sound like. Well studied probably. 🙂

      Reply
      1. AhNotepad

        Harry de Boer, as you say, this is a clear description. Complex but understandable. What I get from this is that prevention is far better than cure, and vitamin C is a major line of defence. The authorities who put out the “vitamins only make expensive pee” and other falsehoods, won’t, of course be stopped from pedalling their misinformation, but any who say the opposite may be stopped. From that video, any treatment to cure the problem is too late, You may survive, but with probably permanent damage.

        Reply
          1. Tom Welsh

            Exactly. Moreover, at £15 a kilo, a generous day’s dose of Vitamin C costs 15p.

            What prescription drug is so cheap?

  18. PeggySue

    The care of the elderly in this country has been an absolute bloody disgrace for years and landing a pandemic on top is simply disastrous. What we are hearing comes as no surprise to anybody that has any experience of trying to help an elderly loved one in their final years. The stark separation of health and social care, 10 years of austerity, carers treated abysmally on minimum wage – shame on our society for allowing this to happen.

    Reply
      1. chris c

        It’s a crapshoot. I’ve known one or two excellent homes but many are just a licence to print money, minimum wage staff and the cheapest possible “food”. A neighbour’s husband had alzheimers and they dragged him back after a stroke and pneumonia while his poor wife continued to pay a small fortune. Fortunately the second stroke did for him. Otherwise she would have lost their house as well as her husband.

        Reply
  19. Carol Annette

    We have the same situation here in Montreal Quebec, Canada. My mother is currently residing in one of the best nursing homes in the province (government run), where 33 people have died from COVID. It is a research-based facility, associated with several universities, where doctors and nurses go to get trained in the best techniques and medical practices. They have an MRI machine, and they also have x-ray capabilities and an ophthalmology clinic on-site, among other advanced services. Nevertheless, the deluge of patients was expected in the hospitals which did not happen to the degree expected, and somehow the medical experts did not even consider what might happen in nursing homes. The problem is that most of the workers get low salaries and work part-time, so they are forced to work in more than one facility. This made it easy for the virus to spread quickly early on, as workers moved among facilities. The government’s response has been to lock down the nursing homes and forbid workers from moving from one facility to another, unfortunately too late to prevent multiple deaths. It’s sad that it has taken a tragic scandal of this magnitude to get the government to step in to improve care and practices for elderly in nursing homes.

    Reply
    1. Gaétan

      They say they die from covid19 but they never proved it. Was there biopsies or autopsies showing millions of coronaviruses were replicating in their bodies or lungs and this lead to their death? Nope

      It’s like that everywhere though. No testing just based on symptoms they write them off as covid19 victims …

      Reply
      1. chris c

        It;s ridiculous. All the people who didn’t die of Covid are listed as Covid deaths, then the ones who probably DID die of Covid aren’t counted.

        Reply
  20. David R

    Thanks Doc Kendrick for bringing this appalling situation to our notice. Some folks (probably yourself included) were warning a week or two ago that it was a tide that was about to come ashore.

    I can’t stifle the feeling that had C-19 not been “advertised” in the way it has that it would have been experienced as a very bad Flu year. I see that deaths of Flu/pneumonia plus C-19 are running close to the 2018 level of Flu/pneumonia on its own. As you describe we don’t always distinguish these illness separately and folks die of old age.

    Many (most) do not have any idea of the numbers who died in 2014/15 flu season – 28,000 in the UK alone. 217,000 in Europe at almost 900 deaths per million of population. We are currently at around 200, including many children. Ask around – nobody remembers it.

    Am I wrong in thinking that most of the elderly with multi-morbidities would have been taken this year had they contracted the current Flu virus or even a bad cold (many of which are coronaviruses I believe).

    I see that an increasing number of sensible people are beginning to realise that the cure might be worse than the disease.

    I am 75 and fairly healthy, but I don’t want to see my country and its young people (incl. my children and grandchildren) ruined economically to give me a few more years. I would love another 20 years but not at the expense of the younger generation.

    Thank you to all those who face this virus and others, to help the seriously infected, and that includes all those in care homes. You are brave people (sometimes an overused term – not here) and as a country we have let you down.

    Thank you Doc for helping to bring some sanity in a grave situation.

    Reply
  21. Trust Me I'm Not a Doctor,

    It’s not merely query COVID cases which are not being admitted, I suspect that no-one in a care home is being admitted to hospital. Our Cardiac Centre and yes, ICU, stroke ward etc etc. are short of patients. More, I am guessing, will suffer and die from this than the bloody virus. In my more (increasingly) paranoid moments, I could be persuaded that all this was deliberate to ease the case load of older, multimorbidity patients.
    Must dash……..have to panic buy tin foil for some new hats.

    Reply
  22. Jennifer

    Dr Kendrick. I am so sad this month. I trained and worked for many years in the NHS, and at one stage was involved in the discussions whereby social care and NHS care/ treatment were about to part company. ( I had no influence, let me say).. It wasn’t until the latter years of my career, that I witnessed the awful impact caused. The ‘geriatric’ wards were cleared out, and long term patients, cruely classified as ‘bed blockers’ filled up the ever increasing residential homes. Suddenly, the unqualified carers found themselves coping with challenging Nursing procedures. The actual Nursing Homes, with their complement of experienced Registered Nurses of course, were given intensive, time consuming procedures to perform. And fees were ultimately split for each resident into Nursing Care costs and Social Care costs . The two components had to be assessed, and it t was purely to reduce payments. Care on the cheap.Blimey….the local authority paid to feed, wash and dress the residents, but the NHS or GP District Nurses paid for the Nursing tasks….it was a blooming nightmare. In a hospital bed, all needs were properly part and parcel of CARE. The rot had set in, and this year we are witnessing the results. Absolutely false economy.
    My lovely Dad was NURSED to his death with motor neurone disease, in a District Hospital, but that was 40 years ago. And why not? He understood that was what the NHS was all about, should terminal care be required. . ( in this memorial year of the liberation of Bergen -Belson, he was in the RAMC on that April day, so….he certainly deserved the best care available, don’t you agree? ) It is what I believed to be the case when my studies commenced in 1965.
    I feel that I ought to take some responsibility in allowing the serious deterioration in the care of today’s vulnerable citizens. We, as a nation, have let them down in their most serious time of need.
    The shameless lack of proper management of the NHS is overwhelming, and the only excuse I can muster is that we have been politically lied to to believe that everything was hunky-dory.

    Reply
  23. Aileen

    In my local hospital, patients are now not supposed to be discharged back to care homes without having had a covid-19 test. As the test takes three days to be processed,and we need to make sure that patients are discharged as rapidly as possible, the idea is that these patients are discharged back to the care home as soon as the test has been carried out,p but will be kept in isolation in their rooms until the results are available. At which point, assuming the results are negative, they can then rejoin their peers.

    If someone declines to have the test done (not unreasonable: it clearly isn’t a pleasant experience), presumably they then have to stay in their room for a fortnight?

    Also: what is the rate of false positives and false negatives? And how long is the incubation period really?

    Reply
  24. Terry Wright

    I do worry that everyone will just get non-specifically “angry” and perhaps we should just reflect; and evaluate and sift, just a wee bit. (After all, govts are all being criticised for impulsively doing things).

    I went looking for just what were the levels of care in various care homes, ie were they all reading newspapers and walking outdoors.

    From here https://academic.oup.com/ageing/article/33/6/561/16174 they talk of a national UK census in 2004 for care home residents. Please supply a more updated version if you can.

    Some things from the summary

    “25% were ‘residential’ and 75% in ‘nursing’ care” .. we will describe nursing care later.

    ” Medical morbidity and associated disability … had driven admission in over 90% of residents”

    “More than 50% of residents had dementia, stroke or other neurodegenerative disease.”

    “Overall, 76% of residents required assistance with their mobility or were immobile.”

    “78% had at least one form of mental impairment and 71% were incontinent.”

    “27% of the population were immobile, confused and incontinent”

    This would seem to be the population. These are hard work to look after: incontinent, demented, immobile, needing turning, getting bedsores. Happy for you to tell me they are not hard work. This would encompass nursing care. You will note medical morbidity (Dr Kendrick calls it multi-morbidity) drove 90% of admissions. These conditions will not reverse.

    It was commented that in northern Italy, that many of the care-givers in these type of care homes, were NOT Italians; they were instead from Eastern Europe, who for various reasons left abruptly when the corona thing erupted. It seems similar in the UK.

    Reply
    1. teedee126

      Exactly what point are you trying to make, Terry? (honestly not trying to be provocative, here, but it’s difficult to ask for clarification without coming across that way.) You mentioned that these patients require a lot of hard work and that their conditions will not reverse, but I’m not quite sure what you’re saying here. Should we simply let the virus go wild and cause them to die more quickly than they’d otherwise have done? Should we not be wasting so much “hard work” on them because they’re in such poor health anyway?

      Reply
      1. Tish

        It is a very difficult situation. My mother will soon be 97 and is in a care home that is currently Covid free. Many care home residents will not have time to await a vaccine, even if one were to work. And if they were to stay isolated with no visitors until we have good national immunity, they might well die without ever seeing their loved ones again. Drawing out this time to good immunity does not favour care homes residents They could have been protected while young healthy people went about their business.

        Reply
        1. teedee126

          Agreed that the vulnerable should have been protected, while the rest of the community went about their business. Soon enough, those younger than 65 with comorbidities like diabetes, COPD, heart disease, obesity would likely have needed care, too, but some would have only gotten the milder versions and developed some immunity. It really is a tough call all around, though..

          Reply
      2. Terry Wright

        thanks teedee; we are all getting very distressed over things; I often think; that what I think, doesn’t really matter.

        Sometimes just the facts may help us: so above I thought to describe what seem to be some facts;

        I guess I do worry in the modern world that we “weaponise” things; so everyone over 65 is lumped together; or over 70 or whatever; and then used to hurl accusations and such against others.

        Each of the folks mentioned in the care home statistics is a different individual, but are commonly burdened by a variety of disabilities: we may not realise how many, and how frequent they are. I guess I worry that these complexities make broad statements to be a little hard.

        In quoting the facts from the study: I just hope folks can maybe pause and reflect: I worry we are all getting very angry and distressed;

        more facts are becoming available; such as that from the Stanford study; of serological testing: ie how many already are immune; so that means they have had the infection; didn’t know that they have had it; and are now well, and again I say, immune. Immune: antibodies.

        The Stanford study estimates 55-85 times as many folks are immune; as are currently recorded as “CASES” that the media reports. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7v2F3usNVA

        Within 5 mins of listening to this video, you get the guts of it; at 10mins, you learn the mortality of our corona is likely the same as a seasonal flu: maybe 0.1%.

        I hope we can all remain friends and colleagues on this forum; teedee. What I think; me; doesn’t really matter; I often think. If we can talk of facts and swap those and reflect, that is one of the many marvellous things about this forum. All best wishes to you and everyone.

        Reply
    2. Trust Me I'm Not a Doctor

      Interesting, if not unsurprising. Thank you! In my experience, the quality of care in care homes can vary alarmingly. I have a horrible feeling that when (if ever) this is all over, what remains behind closed doors will be, to paraphrase Richard Dawkins, beyond all decent contemplation. Already in Spain, dead and dying have been discovered in semi-abandoned care homes. Plus, the CQC has abandoned it’s duties. https://www.cqc.org.uk/news/stories/routine-inspections-suspended-response-coronavirus-outbreak

      Reply
      1. teedee126

        A greater number are feeling this way, and the only ‘good’ thing in all this is that we’re seeing the terrible cracks in the system and in our care homes. It will make for heart-wrenching discussions among family members when contemplating placing a loved one in a care facility in the future. As you so fittingly paraphrased Dawkins already, I’ll leave it at that when discussing what we’ll be left with when the dust settles.

        Reply
  25. Mike

    The fact the nightingale hospitals are underutilised is good. I wouldn’t criticise the government for that. Also infection controls in care homes have been inadequate for ever. Perhaps now things will be taken seriously. Quality Care Comm. are probably to blame. Yes those setting C19 strategy have been slow off the mark. Not sure I blame the current Gov. Not that I’m a fan of them.

    Reply
  26. mmec7

    Also the care ‘at home’ staff. I have friends and family involved in all sides of the medical world and care staff. They do an amazing job. What is so unacceptable is the lack of protective clothing and masks. Incredible. The highly paid drivers of the medical service are the first to look for approbation between themselves, totally ignoring, indeed, casting to one side, the horrific draw backs of the whole sad,very bad opera that is in need of more than urgent attention. Total change of supremos, change the script and throw out the conductor. The poor public are the forlorn producers, with the behind scenes guys ensuring that the whole edifice doesn’t totally collapse. Indeed, one despairs.
    Kudos Dr Kendrick. You are a brave man to highlight the whole nasty mess of pottage. Take care, continue well.

    Reply
  27. cjrscott

    Thank you so much for these posts. They are invaluable in this time of insecurity… I read them and weep, literally. I am in Oz, my family and my elderly mum are in uk.
    Please keep posting. This must be so hard for you, to watch, to help and to convey. Know your words are landing and will make a difference. Please take good care of yourself in this time

    Caroline xox

    Reply
  28. teedee126

    “COVID is a strange disease that kills people in a way that I have never witnessed before. In some cases, very quickly.”
    Those are chilling words and ones I hope some people will think about before they say such things as, “what’s the big deal? COVID is essentially the flu.” These are the same people who won’t allow for ANY measures taken whatsoever; those who think we should have just carried on, business as usual, and let the chips fall where they may.
    I can agree that this total lockdown smells fishy and will likely cause more problems than it solves, but it’s certainly exposing some serious cracks in the system in every country it touches..

    Reply
  29. Gary Ogden

    Thank you, Dr. Kendrick. It is a measure of our moral character how we treat elders. On my walk today I formally meat a neighbor with whom I had always exchanged greetings. He looks to be about mid to late 70’s. He’s 92, and a WWII vet. Both he and his wife are hale and hearty, actively garden, and he still drives. He recently went to the Veteran’s Administration to sign up, in case something happened to him, like a stroke or something. They told him he was too late, should have signed up before.

    Reply
  30. andy

    “Nearly half of Canada’s 735 COVID-19 deaths are linked to long term care homes, federal health authorities said Monday, and the number of deaths is expected to rise.”

    Would shutting down entire country reduce covid19 deaths in the long term care homes?

    Reply
  31. Martin Levac

    Malcolm, the way you explain it sounds like the system was working, then the gubermint broke it. There’s a specific point to note here. See how it appears as if the people in charge believe the system must be prepared to treat “other people”, as opposed to let’s say people we know who are genuinely at risk already.

    To simplify. It’s not new patients. It’s a new disease. The logic of it. Whomever is at risk to suffer and die from diseases we know, they’re the same people who are at risk to suffer and die from this new disease.

    I am reminded of a fundamentally flawed idea, which is that somehow one person can fix a collective system with grand acts. It’s fundamentaly flawed because a collective system is made up of individuals, each of which can only ever make small acts. It’s as if this person believed that he possessed the competence of each and every individual in this collective.

    Tell you what, do what you must, not what you’re told. especially when you’re told to do any different than what you must. Are you not competent, Malcolm? Then bring this competence to bear one small act at a time.

    Reply
  32. AhNotepad

    This from BBC Newsnight. There are some doubtful statements in some places, one being not many people got flu this winter because the vaccine worked. Slightly daft as we know the flu vaccine has no noticable benefit for those over 65. However, the thrust of the article is that there seem to be a lot of deaths that could well be caused by the government actions to prioritise covid 19.

    Reply
  33. David Bailey

    I wish that politicians (and maybe all of us) could be a bit more realistic about life and death.

    When people get old and frail, they become horribly vulnerable to all sorts of diseases and to accidents, such as falling over – basically because in times gone by they would have died a little bit sooner. If we take all our medicines, we are promised the opportunity to join this happy throng in due course.

    Like everyone, I want people in care homes to get the best treatment that is reasonably possible, but I certainly don’t want the young and fit to sacrifice so much to keep these people alive a very short time longer. Moreover, I am pretty sure that those of them who can still think would not want this either – after all, they were once young and fit too. Nor do I want them to block hospital beds in a time of crisis that are needed by people who stand a good chance of being returned to health again with some treatment.

    I suppose in truth, most of those who work in care homes are not really ‘at risk’ of COVID-19, because they are so much younger than their clients – any more than they are ‘at risk’ of dying of influenza (regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not).

    Can’t we all face the obvious truth. When we get old, we will become vulnerable to infections of various sorts, and the last part of life will be something of a lottery. If we get old in a time of a ‘pandemic’ like this, we may not last quite as long as if we get old at a different time – but is that anything to obsess over?

    Reply
  34. Terry Wright

    Mike: could I very diffidently and gingerly suggest you are being just a wee bit harsh there?

    “Also infection controls in care homes have been inadequate for ever. Perhaps now things will be taken seriously. ”

    If you could assure me that you volunteer twice a week to do a couple of 10-12hrs shifts in a care home, I would be pleased to know that. I am guessing you are one too that cleans the toilet bowl out 3 times a week at your house, and gets down on your hands and knees are scrubs in behind the U-bend as well: lots of bugs live in there too, as well all know.

    Reply
  35. Angela Jackson

    If patients in care homes are sufficiently sick with the virus why aren’t GPs sending them to hospital where they get the best care? Why are they dying in homes? Is it not a GP’s responsibility to make sure they get the best care no matter what age or co-morbidities they have or does the NHS give up on the old? If patients are dying of an unknown cause why aren’t they having a post-mortem? What do you put on a patient’s death certificate? Why aren’t GPs making more of a stand over this?

    With regards to a shortage of PPE, our country is one of many ordering equipment from abroad, some of which turns up unfit for use. The Government, in all good faith, is trying its best to get hold of as much as it can and distribute it, as explained by the head of NHS purchasing. Other countries are struggling the same as us. China is only now going back into production. Our problem is we’ve all relied on China for so much for too long.

    Reply
    1. Karen F

      In NJ (US) they were sending the elderly from nursing homes to the hospital… where they shortly died. The issue isn’t that they didn’t they get medical care to keep them alive. COVID-19 is deadly for a certain age group. I have one 94 year old who seems to be recovering on his own, but for the most part I have seen the same pattern over and over: an active and stable resident at a facility falls, is sent to the hospital to check for injury, is tested for COVID-19, then dies 5 days later (usually the same day that their positive COVID results come back). This virus is exceptionally deadly for elderly in facilities, even for residents who are stable and don’t really have any other major underlying health conditions.

      Reply
      1. Aileen

        “is tested for COVID-19, then dies 5 days later (usually the same day that their positive COVID results come back”.

        Might some people be dying of fear?

        Reply
        1. teedee126

          One never knows what pushes a person over the edge, but a person who has lived 90 years on this earth has been exposed to many fearful situations and have managed to come through them all. It would be shocking to find out they died from fear at this point, but again, who knows? It’s also been said by some doctors that they’ve never seen anything that kills so quickly..

          Reply
          1. Melanie

            The 90 year old may have experienced lots of danger in his life, and maybe not much fear. I imagine few have experienced the prolonged state of fear-stress provided by this situation, especially an “invisible enemy” of “pandemic” proportions, which require the village hall to be turned into a makeshift “morgue” etc etc etc. I’m minded that that a Covid-19 diagnosis is to some patients akin to a terminal diagnosis, to which the patient often obliges. (nocebo?) I read with interest about the drop in heart attacks / strokes presenting at ER in both the UK and USA. These were not heart patients being recorded as C-19 patients but rather they were not presenting at ER. I find it hard to believe these patients are quietly having their heart attacks and strokes at home. If heart attacks/strokes have suddenly reduced then I think we are looking at a very interesting phenomena of what the human body is capable of.

          2. teedee126

            Yes, I’ve found that fascinating, too; people presenting with fewer heart attacks and strokes all of a sudden? I know a few ppl who go to the doctor so regularly for new ailments (or an older one ‘acting up’ again) that it’s like a weekly social outing for them. Not so much now, though. We really are an interesting species, that’s for sure..

          3. teedee126

            Perhaps, and I’ve also heard many stories by people I know who swore their loved one looked more peaceful facing death in the weeks, days or hours before it happened than they’d ever seen them before. Maybe it depends on what kind of life a person had; if they were severely abused as child, bullied at school, then abused by a spouse/partner and often wished they were dead, maybe they’ll welcome leaving this life. Some think of life more like a prison sentence to be endured, while others see it as a ‘gift’ to have been born into it. One thing is for sure, we’ll all be facing death one day and then we’ll find out how we each feel about it, then..

          4. AhNotepad

            Depends on the circumstances. If you are feeling very unwell, you may not worry about dying.

          5. Jerome Savage

            Sasha I cant help thinking you are right. Tho my hope is as the end moment approaches, a revelation will behold and my final words will out
            “so that’s what it was all about !”
            What’s it all about Sasha ?

          6. Sasha

            If I knew, I would be a very rich man. I would be soothing peoples’ subconscious fear, the one they didn’t know they had, and charging $300 an hour for it. Or maybe even $500…

        2. Terry Wright

          “Might some people be dying of fear?”

          Indeed Aileen. Indeed. I do not think we have ever witnessed such fear; extreme fear, panic? in doctors and nurses before; how daunting it must be as a patient to face folks in darth vader suits and masks; evidently terrified out of their wits in “ERs”; all shouting and issuing orders to everyone else and running around in circles; you have truly had “the bone pointed at you”. One can see when folks got +ve Aids tests in the early days, that some, many, I don’t know … that suicides were reported. It is the downside of doing medicine: you should stay calm; be compassionate and recognise what you got yourself into; all those years ago, when you started.

          Reply
  36. mmec7

    This from the New York Times, 18 April 2020
    The State of Nursing Homes in NewYork State –

    A crisis in nursing homes
    Since the outbreak began in the United States, there have been few deadlier places than the inside of a nursing home.

    In New Jersey, coronavirus infections have broken out in 394 long-term facilities and more than 1,500 residents have died — including 17 whose bodies were piled up in a single nursing home morgue.

    In New York, 72 facilities have had five or more deaths, including one in Brooklyn where 55 people have died, and another in Queens with 29 likely deaths.

    Since the first outbreak at a nursing home in Washington in February, the virus has ripped through more than 4,000 nursing and long-term care facilities across the country, killing at least 7,000 people connected to them. About one in five deaths from the coronavirus in the United States has occurred in one of these facilities, according to a New York Times tally.

    “They’re death pits,” Betsy McCaughey, a former lieutenant governor of New York, told The Times. “They’re crowded and they’re understaffed. One Covid-positive patient in a nursing home produces carnage.”

    The vulnerabilities are hard to escape: Nursing homes concentrate an aging population into small, confined spaces and are staffed by workers who move freely between rooms. But specific failures and oversights have made the crisis worse.

    Virus tests and protective gear are often in short supply. Employees — many of whom have gone to heroic efforts to care for their residents — are often poorly paid, undertrained, work multiple jobs and live in at-risk communities.

    The crisis has left families of the elderly scrambling. Many cannot bring older family members home because they cannot provide the extensive medical care they need, or they are afraid they may inadvertently infect them. At a time when families are already stretched for resources and personal space, it can often feel like there are no good options.

    The UK is bad, but these… Desperate. Aptly named, ‘death pits!’

    Reply
    1. Karen F

      I work in hospice in NJ and know many staff in various nursing homes… it’s all true. Not only are residents dying, sometimes staff are dying too. It’s heartbreaking.

      Reply
      1. mmec7

        Hells teeth on earth Karen – Heartbreaking it is – and the other stories that are being recounted here by followers of Dr Kendrick’s blog. Then add the recounts of abuse that litter the spectrum of the care industry. Horrific ineptitude in too many directions, with too many staff and, at that, abysmally poorly paid, pushed to the limits, beyond endurance.
        One has to hold those holding the reins and the paymasters, to account. ‘Thou shalt not’ seems writ over every doorway !

        Reply
  37. Elsha

    And here in Ontario, Canada, some long term care residents when dying cannot even have a loved one at their side and after death families have not been able to locate their loved one. Why can a family member not gown up with mask and gloves and be by their side?? It is totally beyond me how all this can actually be happening!! We lost our son almost 2 years ago in an ICU and we would have gone wild not being allowed to be at his side! And then these homes are always pathetically short of staffing and more so now!

    Reply
    1. AhNotepad

      I would imagine having someone in a gown and mask and gloves is little comfort to either party. Almost all social contact lost in an instant.

      Reply
  38. Beverly

    My friend’s father was in a care home for 18 months, with Dementia. She was unable to visit for two weeks after Covid lockdown and in that period he was unwell and taken to hospital. Then last week the care home called to say he had been sent back to them and she needed to come and visit him. He had lost over a stone in weight in the three weeks and was very ill. The care home had 3 members of staff per shift for 16 residents with dementia and these were Care Workers, not nurses or doctors. A lot of the residents were off their meds because there was no one authorised to administer injections. My friend said it was like a war zone field hospital. She brought an air bed and holed herself up in his room with him. He passed away 48 hours later, in pain and terrified. His end of life care consisted of a shot of morphine each day because there were no registered nurses available to maintain reular doses.
    This was how I was made aware of the appalling way that Care Homes are being left to fend for themselves. Its a disgrace.

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      I used to visit my partner’s mother in a care home some years ago. The staff there seemed mostly kind, and I think they realised that their role was to let their clients do roughly what they liked as far as that was possible. She, for example, was allowed to walk extremely slowly down the corridors, even though that blocked them for others in wheel chairs. She was probably also at some risk of falling, but she liked the feeling of independence that this gave her.

      Some clients were incontinent, and I dare say there were a fair few bugs lurking in the place.

      The woman I was visiting was not suffering from dementia – she could still do some tasks on her computer – but she was extremely difficult with the staff. I think I realised that on balance, it was better to have carers who were kind, than to have brighter people who could cope with courses to train them to give medical assistance.

      I just hope that this crisis will change the way society thinks about the end of life. Whatever the answer is, it can’t be to simply throw more and more resources at those who are so close to death – only to watch them die anyway – or indeed to let unscrupulous lawyers take the carers to court in circumstances where they were simply trying their best.

      Yes, it is appalling that care homes are being asked to fend for themselves, but isn’t that a reflection of the fact that society has never thought out how to handle ageing sensibly? I mean a long time back, Malcolm gave us one example of the extreme irrationality of the care system, when he described a patient in a hospice who was prescribed a statin in liquid form (at considerably expense) just to satisfy some inflexible guideline.

      Reply
  39. annielaurie98524

    Oh, Dr. K! Since I was fortunate enough to find your blog a long while back, I have eagerly awaited each one. Some have piqued my curiosity to go research a topic. Some have encouraged me that at least parts of the medical field are progressing. But this one did something unique — it brought me to tears.
    I used to do “pet therapy” visits and art classes for nursing homes. It was sad to see that, even back then, many bright, personable elders were just “written off”. What is happening now — when it’s not possible to bring enrichment activities to these isolated folks, or even just a visit and a chat; when caregivers cannot get the equipment they need to safely provide care and comfort to the residents; when people are sent from hospitals (where, one assumes, they were because they needed some type of medical treatment) to these “elder ghettos” to die — I can’t find words.

    Reply
  40. Terry Wright


    Dr Bhattacharyna is Professor of Medicine at Stanford; they have done serological testing: looking for antibodies for corona;

    that means: you have had it; you now are immune: you have antibodies:

    (the common tests that the media talks of are as you know are PCR tests; aiming to find fragments of RNA that are meant to signify viral components of the corona: so assuming infection is active);

    within 5 mins, this guy gets his message across; so do listen;

    ….. for every person symptomatic and having a corona PCR test and being called “positive” ……..
    there are between 50-85 people who have had this bug; were asymptomatic;

    got over it and now have antibodies; I suspect this is important;

    Reply
  41. Martha

    I follow an Italian blogger and 3 weeks ago she had been watching the UK news. She warned yet hoped that the UK would not discharge the elderly into care homes as they had in Italy with disastrous consequences. Our government knew.

    Reply
    1. James DownUnder

      Every older person who expires, reduces government expenditure, – Pensions, Medical costs, accommodation and the freeing up of the older person’s assets to re-enter monetary circulation.
      This is a Capitalist – friendly malady.

      Reply
      1. Terry Wright

        Hi James; Peter Hitchens suggested the other day that the lockdown is costing the UK about 2.4billion pounds a day: for that you could buy 6 new DGHs: hospitals. So in a week, you could pay for 42 new hospitals. You could do similar sums for Australia I suspect.

        Reply
  42. jeanirvin

    This is ll very worrying. I hiope that at some time a lot of people will have difficult questions to answer, but I doubt it.

    Reply
  43. rockingbass

    Dear Dr Kendrick Thank you for your help in supporting Care home staff. I do wonder about those of us who care for our loved ones at home. We should of had proper advice from HMG about how to self isolate if we have symptoms of covid 19. What the symptoms are and when to call on help. But nothing concrete. Luckily by strict isolation my wife and I are so far OK A round of applause from us both to you Best Wishes Mark Waters

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

    Reply
  44. Simon Kelly

    Thank you Malcolm for continuing to speak up. Its all got just too crazy and irrational now. I just hope that other countries lead the way out of economic meltdown and our cowardly politicians follow like sheep again, as they have done to date.

    Reply
  45. Shona

    Hi Malcolm, Just a quick reply. My fiancé is a nurse in a geriatric ward in Glasgow. They have removed patients from the wards who were already in with whatever health complaints, To clear entire wards, which are still to this day sitting empty, apparently waiting for a deluge which isn’t happening. This has been going on for the last few weeks. Who knows if the patients who have been removed should have been removed, and there are several entire awards that are sitting empty with no one going into them, no one making decisions anywhere. My fiance has only just been given a surgical mask in the last few days, which of course in my line of work I know it’s entirely unfit for the purpose. He also himself has asthma. Kind Regards, Shona

    Sent from my iPad >

    Reply
  46. Peter Thompson

    Malcolm I will make a couple of observations. Firstly data shows that the CFR of cvd19 seems much worse in the old industrial areas of the UK ( lot of the elderly with COPD due to smoking and poor air quality over decades ). Whereas the costa geriatrica s of the UK eg Torbay, Bournemouth seem very lightly touched. I would also like you to watch an interview with the guru of Swedish epidemiology Prof Giesecke . Shield the elderly , yes , Lockdown the healthy, no.

    Reply
    1. Andrew Larwood

      These antibody tests are available now, today, but the UK government doesn’t want to spend the money on them or use them for patients and healthcare workers.

      Reply
    2. Göran Sjöberg

      Well, I am all behind our present official position with “mild” measures against the corona virus. And it seems like other European countries are slowly following suite – not bad in perspective!

      Basically Corona virus is another bad influenza we have to coop with as always.

      I also like the idea of people being “kind” to us at 70+ and I have not objected to younger people having visited me the recent weeks but sitting on opposite sides of the table with a glass of wine.

      Although there is an evident “slow down” in the Swedish society for many different reasons but people seem rather relaxed.

      Reply
      1. Terry Wright

        thanks for updating us Goran; we really appreciate hearing from you. Stay strong as the control!! Glad you have been able to sup some nice wines; in good company too; all best wishes to Sweden.

        Reply
    3. Terry Wright

      Thanks Peter; I do worry we crave concepts we can advance to others, to seemingly give us confidence.

      “Shield the elderly , yes , Lockdown the healthy, no.”

      Sounds great; all the elderly to the left; all the health to the right. Very clear.

      Corona is a respiratory virus; they seem to spread very easily; we know this from a cold; you are most infectious before you become symptomatic;

      and from the latest Stanford data: for every “CASE” that is positive on PCR, there are 55-85 people who are now immune; who had the infection (didn’t know it) and now have antibodies;

      Respiratory viruses seem to spread, almost as easily as the oxygen flows around us. We cling to concepts of “isolation”: and yet there seem to be old folks dying in care homes; as they die each year of the flu, or the passage of time.

      I do wonder; if in our attempts to give ourselves certainty: “shield the elderly” are not being shown to be mis-guided and ineffective; just a reflection for others to angrily dismiss.

      We are always told there is a “solution”: which is without untoward consequences; adverse effects and unpredictability.

      Reply
  47. Danny

    Thanks Malcolm for your perspective on serious issues which don’t get discussed too often on TV and radio and when they do it’s the same old medical “experts” spouting the same old establishment line. I would love to hear you and others like you debate some of the issues with them on, for example , the BBC but I doubt that will ever happen as the boat can’t be rocked.

    Dr (not medical doctor) V A Shiva is an American/Asian prospective US Senate candidate who has very strong views on Covid-19, vaccines, ventilators,big pharma, politics and more that he shares on a web cam.
    You and some of your readers might find him Interesting .

    Reply
  48. David R

    Am I missing something (my wife says I usually do), but as appalled as I am by talk of “end of life” labels and DNR being put on someone’s clipboard. Does this not just reflect the fact that people die (600,000 every year in the UK), and often it is with a respiratory illness end, and often pneumonia. Both my parents went in hospital this way. I remember being upset at seeing “Do Not Resuscitate” on my father’s notes – he wasn’t that many years older than I am now. But looking back I realise that his specialist made a judgement call, that was correct.

    I can see the sense of risking (understatement) our economy to save vast numbers of the young, but we are not – it is mostly for old and infirm folk as Doc. Kendrick tells us.

    For some reason many people are only just waking up to the fact that none us get out of here alive and we are usually shielded from reality.

    Reply
    1. Terry Wright

      “For some reason many people are only just waking up to the fact that none us get out of here alive and we are usually shielded from reality.”

      Thanks David R: you could well be on to something here. Perhaps if folks reflect on: is every death a failure of modern medicine?

      Reply
  49. June Barrie

    Perhaps some of the money raised by the 100 year old walking in his garden could be used to procure suitable equipment and pay for testing? Or is it all going to NHS charities?

    Reply
  50. Andrew Larwood

    Its scandalous that the governments own figures from yesterday stated that only around 21,000 tests out of a promised 100,000 had been performed in April so far and that within the next 13 days the remainder will be done – clearly an impossible task. The main problem is the type of testing using swabs from nose or throat; having collected the swabs, the swabs then have to be sent away for analysis which takes two to three days. The bottle neck is the labs doing the testing. There is another type of testing which takes 10 minutes to perform and which could be done anywhere, including nursing and care homes and hospitals for both patients and healthcare workers. Yet the government seems unwilling to or doesn’t want to use these clinically proven tests which actually meet the MHRA’s own guidance and specifications; I believe it is because of cost and because its the elderly. But the government have a duty to provide and protect the people on the front line. In the USA it is now recommended that everyone needs to be tested. Whether this is the right strategy remains to be seen but for patients and key healthcare workers on the front line it should be obligatory. The Covid-19 IgG / IgM Rapid Diagnostic Testing kits cost around £10 per kit, takes 10 minutes, is available now, is CE marked and has a specificity and sensitivity close to 100% but the sad thing is they’re not being used. Shame!!!!

    Reply
    1. teedee126

      Regrettably, just because something is “recommended in the U.S.A” (or even BEGGED for by all health professionals and the public alike) doesn’t mean it will ever get done. The foot dragging that’s been done there is going to be legendary when the dust settles. History will not be kind to DJT and rightfully, so..

      Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Yes, you picked this up too. I have been looking at the impact of endothelial dysfunction, increased coagulability and a degree of disseminated intravascular coagulation with Covid, with interest. This, clearly, is what is killing people.

      Reply
      1. Martin Back

        I’m imagining a red blood cell covered with spiky coronaviruses like a dog covered in burrs. We know RBCs are a tight squeeze in capillaries, like a dog squeezing through a hedge. Those virus spikes are going to be scraping the capillary endothelium like crazy, resulting in mechanical damage or plenty of close contact to latch onto any ACE2 receptors.

        Valid analogy?

        Reply
        1. SteveR

          There are no ACE2 receptors on erythrocytes.
          The issue with erythrocytes is more likely to be related to the Glut1 receptor and the dehydroascorbic acid to ascorbic acid cycling – too little ascorbic acid and erythrocytes become brittle and less flexible and possibly less able to squeeze through a vasculature narrowed by the virus – maybe. But the virus is much smaller than the erythrocyte with roughly 65 able to fit across the major axis. And both erythrocytes and the epithelium have an outer layer, the glycocalyx, involved in the triggering of nitric oxide to relax arteries and veins.

          Reply
        2. Gary Ogden

          Endothelial damage (of consequence) in capillaries? Or even in veins? Doesn’t sound likely. But maybe you’re on to something, since I recently read something about clotting being one of the results of this infection.

          Reply
  51. Paula

    The deaths of ‘old’ people and others with Covid-19 is a sinister ‘win win’ situation for the Treasury in IHT.

    Reply
  52. Karen F

    I’m a Hospice social worker. I have never seen anything like this. Our census has generally been between 250-280 patients on any given week. In the last few weeks we’ve been admitting 60-70 patients a week (usually it’s closer to 30, 40 tops), the vast majority of them with COVID-19 (suddenly all the cancer patients we would normal see have disappeared). We had 76 deaths this past week, the vast majority of whom had COVID-19 (normal deaths are about 20 – 30). That number is astounding. Despite the massive number of deaths our census is not dropping because dying COVID patients just keep coming on. I’m devastated when I hear whispers from facility staff and families of the sheer number of residents in the nursing homes and assisted living facilities who are sick and dying of COVID. Many of these facilities have only 1 nurse and 1 aide on the whole unit to tend to over 40 very sick people because their co-workers are out sick, and in some cases have died. The facilities don’t provide adequate PPE, and managers force staff who are still sick to come back to work. The state government knows about it, but has done little to nothing to help these facilities (never count on the government – they will not be there for you, but will be happy to make things worse). Visitors were banned a month ago, but staff still had to go home, and without being given masks to wear in the community it was inevitable it would spread to the facilities. At least everyone in the community is wearing something on their face in public now, but it’s too late for these nursing homes. There is a mass die-off of the elderly in certain pockets of this country happening right now.

    This is nothing like the flu. Even old people recover from the flu most of the time. I have never seen anything like this in my 23 years in healthcare, but what else would I expect from an engineered virus? For a while my mind was torn in two with what seemed like differing beliefs: on the one hand I recognize that this virus, being bio-engineered, was unusually deadly, sometimes even for younger people (although I have a strong suspicion about the flu shot being a contributing factor), and action needed to be taken to limit it’s spread. On the other hand, I recognize that the resulting economic destruction will result in far more unnecessary deaths, some from sheer starvation and suicide. After watching all the death in these facilities I have finally come to a place in my mind that I can tolerate intellectually, although it’s a depressing conclusion. This virus was manufactured to be particularly deadly, whether one believes it was released on purpose or not may be irrelevant, but all bets are off either way. We can expect lots of people to die because of the evil actions of a few (creating something deadly with no regard to the obvious consequences), and governments will cause even greater death and destruction than necessary through forced economic shutdown. It’s not an “either/or”, it’s both. I still think we need to, with precautions, get things running again. When everyone is wearing masks this will stop spreading so ferociously. With all the government’s focus on making vents, which increases mortality risk due to increased lung damage, and building temporary hospitals that aren’t even needed (they can’t even staff the facilities they have now, how are they going to staff 500 beds at a convention center?), they haven’t moved toward creating resources for basic precautions for the public, such as mass producing masks or teaching people how to keep their immune systems healthy. Once again, government is throwing vast amounts of money at the wrong solutions.

    There are people responsible for this (I suspect there are many people), and I can think of a few who I’m pretty sure will have a special place in hell reserved for them when they go to meet their Maker. At least I pray they do. Yes, I am praying for justice.

    Reply
    1. AhNotepad

      Any old mask that most people are able to get are not going to do much more than virtue signal. They won’t stop disease spread unless they are propely fitted, and are the right type according to an A&E nurse I spoke to.

      Reply
  53. David R

    Karen, Thanks for the sobering summary of what you see.

    Please accept the best wishes of those of us in the UK.

    All governments were asked to prepare for a possible pandemic some years ago, and a few did. BUT many have spent the money needed on other less pressing things – don’t want to be too political about what.

    Let’s hope that this time proper lessons will be learned.

    Reply
  54. Dr. John H

    Mercola just posted this COVID interview with Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, MIT Phd. I haven’t watched it yet, but I think it will be quite good. In the accompanying article, this quote caught my eye:

    “When things don’t add up, take a step back and ask, what is the other agenda?’ And the only thing in a common-sense way that reveals itself to me is power, profit and control. Power, profit and control.”

    https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/04/18/coronavirus-economic-impact.aspx?cid_source=dnl&cid_medium=email&cid_content=art1HL&cid=20200418Z1&et_cid=DM508280&et_rid=853599007

    Reply
    1. Sasha

      I liked a lot of what he was saying except I didn’t agree with him calling RFK, Jr “controlled opposition”. I think RFK, Jr is a good guy…

      Reply
  55. Jeanie

    Hi Dr K.I follow you with great interest and pride in my fellow Scot having been a sassenach down south for thirty years now lol.
    I’m just pondering this.Ive recently been started on b12 injections and within the hour of having it done my breathlessness is gone,on day 3 after my injection it’s back along with the other symtoms I experience being b12 deficient then next injection repeat.
    In your opinion would it not be of value to give b12 injections because as I understand it it’s low levels of oxygen in the blood primarily with Covid so would the b12 shot not assist in stopping the progression to the lungs or am I talking drivel.
    Stay safe Dr K.

    Reply
    1. Aileen

      In my neck of the woods, the CCG appears to be trying to dispense with B12 injections altogether at present, except in a few cases where they really can’t wriggle out of them.

      Reply
  56. Terry Wright

    so when the Fergoid from IC came out with his model; and talked of an 18month lockdown and that the only way out was a vaccine; one might have thought that he spoke as knowledgably about vaccines; as he did about ventilators; (he has no knowledge about ventilators and such).

    Oh no, there seems more.

    This lady has researched the funding to IC: she would say they received 400million pounds from the Wellcome Trust; and 180million pounds from the Gates group; (Bill and the missus);

    look at 7min41sec

    She says that Ferguson heads up the “vaccine modelling impact consortium” https://www.vaccineimpact.org and it is into this, that the modest sums mentioned above, find their way.

    It all reminds of the very distinguished group at Oxford that receive large amounts of funds from Big Pharma.

    So some have gone so far as to suggest that the modelling produces an outcome: lockdown: the key to be released? A vaccine for all. …. pay up or else?? ……………. In computing, this is called ransomware I understand; of course, no-one could possibly suggest this here; all motives are selfless and honourable. Completely different.

    Reply
    1. James DownUnder

      Terry, if it gets painful… I’ll give you the name of a Surgeon… experienced in removing impacted tongues from cheeks…
      😉

      Reply
  57. cdandre2010

    Dear Dr Kendrick, Have you, or anyone else that you maybe aware of, reported on or analysed what is happening in Bali? My partner and I holidayed there in late December 2019. There were thousands of Chinese tourists at that time and that continued to be the case into February 2020. Yet the death rate is seemingly negligible just 2 reported deaths both of whom were tourists.

    Here’s a really interesting article from a local putting forward his observations about Bali and COVID-19.
    View at Medium.com

    There is no significant social distancing and mass gatherings (religious rituals) continue unabated. Also, my understanding is that the Balinese don’t have care homes for the elderly who instead live in their respective family homes where they are cared for by immediate family relatives.

    I welcome your thoughts.

    Reply
    1. Martin Back

      Interesting article. Last month a tourist stuck in Bali phoned a radio station here asking how to get home because all flights were cancelled. He mentioned that the Balinese didn’t seem to be taking any action against the coronavirus. Maybe he should have stayed there.

      Reply
    2. James DownUnder

      Very interesting. I was there in 2017 for 3 weeks, and despite dining out every midday & evening, not a hint of ‘Bali-Belli’.
      Social cohesion is very high…- Supportive personal / family environment which makes for calm, relaxed attitude to life, = well functioning immune system. Contrast that with pace of life in the US and other COVID ‘epidemic’ areas.
      . So despite the apparant basic standard of living, good wholesome UNprocessed food is the norm. Perhaps more nutritious?

      Reply
      1. Tom Welsh

        You might be interested in the book “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration”, by Dr Weston A. Price.

        Published, astonishingly, about 80 years ago, the book tells how Dr Price, a Canadian dentist, travelled with his wife to a dozen or so different parts of the world in the 1930s to examine the traditional diets of the local people and their effects on health. His initial interest was in teeth, and he found that such varied peoples as the North-Western Native Americans, the Masai, and natives of the High Andes and new Guinea had virtually no tooth decay. But they also didn’t suffer from the “diseases of civilization” such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and many others. Those diseases were simply unknown.

        The diets varied a great deal; some, like the Masai, were very heavy on meat, blood and milk, while other included a lot of vegetables or seafood. None of them included sugar, vegetable oils, and few relied on grains. (Those that did used freshly-grown organic grains straight from the field. One Native American is recorded as having told a 19th century explorer that grain must be eaten within a day or two, otherwise it would become harmful).

        Food for thought… Since I read Price’s book I have adopted a low-carb high-fat diet with plenty of meat, fish, dairy and vegetables and no grains or vegetable oil. I feel better than I did 30 years ago, and I have given up visiting the dentist. (He kept giving my mouth a clean bill of health, and eventually said the dental hygienist couldn’t do anything for me either).

        Reply
        1. Göran Sjöberg

          Yes Tom, this is one of the “greatest” books for anyone interested in the importance of nutrition and health.

          Weston Price – a true scientist i my eyes.

          A must read!

          Reply
    3. Gary Ogden

      cdandre2010: Thank you for that link. Very interesting. Bali is another control group, along with Sweden and Belarus.

      Reply
  58. Philip

    Question about vaccines: some are saying that we don’t know if people become immune after having the virus, but that a vaccine will work. Does that even make sense? Do vaccines not work by stimulating the adaptive immune system, and is there a precedent for a vaccine that provides immunity where the adaptive immune system does not?

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      Phillip: In my view vaccination is a failed medical experiment. We live in a sea of microbes. We evolved in a sea of microbes. Our bodies have evolved an elegant, very effective (most of the time) immune system to handle them. One of the keys to the proper development of this system is that we are exposed to pathogens in childhood. Immune factors in breast milk protect us in infancy, but we must get sick in childhood to stimulate the development of our immune system. Vaccine policy today interrupts and skews the proper development of that system in many. Adult vaccines are an entirely different matter, which I haven’t studied in depth, but what I have read about both the influenza and the pneumococcal vaccines is not encouraging.

      Reply
      1. Aileen

        Gary, you pointed me to someone who has studied the chickenpox vaccine in depth, but there are so many posts I can’t find it. Would you be kind enough to tell me again?

        Reply
    2. Terry Wright

      “some are saying that we don’t know if people become immune after having the virus, but that a vaccine will work.”

      as Mandy Rice-Davies would have said, “Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they?”

      It is so wearisome all this stuff: the amount of propaganda being pumped out. It just gone on and on. If you eat as Tom Welsh so well describes above, you will have an intact immune system; as we have had since the dawn of time. Like all mammals. Become a diabetic, or prediabetic, by following the Eat Badly guidelines of “The Authorities” and you will be prey to diseases.

      Look at us, and any mammal:our intestines have a vast quantity of bacteriae and viri (plural of virus?) and yet we walk around safely; we do fine every day. If the bowel contents leak into the peritoneal cavity, folks get real sick; if they don’t, you just happily carry around a gazillion bugs. You will be ok people. You will be ok.

      “but that a vaccine will work. Does that even make sense?” Ask who is saying a vaccine will work: either the gullible or someone who will financially benefit from vaccine funding. Ask them for long-term studies that show folks do better.

      Many would recommend reading “Dissolving Illusions”.

      What is not listed clearly in all the talk of vaccines, is those that have not been delivered; eg a virus that got much talk in the early 1980s; you know the one I mean; it was “prophesised” that a vaccine for it would be available in 2-3 yrs back then; still there is none; 35yrs later; a list of failed promises would be taken down by various media police. If you have the cash of the Gates gang, you can control much some would suggest; of course I couldn’t possibly comment.

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        Terry Wright: Bacterium, bacteria, L. Virus, L. No plural in Latin, but commonly viruses in English usage.

        Reply
      2. Tom Welsh

        ” If the bowel contents leak into the peritoneal cavity, folks get real sick…” As you might well think.

        Dr Williams Davis (author of the books “Wheat Belly”, etc.) claims – with copious scientific references – that all grains contain gliadin and related prolamin proteins that actually make the gut wall permeable. As a result, a little of just about everything in your intestines leaks out into your abdomen and your blood stream.

        That doesn’t usually kill a person quickly, or even make them dramatically ill. But over a lifetime it decreases fitness and health in many ways. It’s logical enough: plants don’t go to the trouble of making precious seeds (essentially their children) just so that mammals can eat them. So they put all sorts of poisonous chemicals into the seeds – not usually enough to kill, but certainly enough to render the consumer less biologically fit and thus less likely to reproduce. Over time, natural selection should reduce the number of animals eating seeds.

        And that’s just one of many reasons to abstain from grain. All grain.

        Reply
        1. teedee126

          I read Wheat Belly when it first came out and it’s just as relevant today. Thank goodness for doctors who aren’t afraid to be outliers. Great info to be had if we look for it.

          Reply
    3. Anna M

      Philip,

      I have asked the same question. My understanding is that if the immune system cannot produce immunity, there would be no point in trying to make a vaccine. Vaccines provoke immunity by exposing it to dead or attenuated virus so that it will produce antibodies. Antibodies = immunity.

      There is also the question of how long the immunity may last.

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        Anna M: The antibodies=immunity equation is often used by vaccinologists, but it simply isn’t true. There is a condition, can’t remember the name, in which no antibodies are produced, yet these people, upon vaccination, resist infection like everyone else.

        Reply
        1. SteveR

          I’m rather more concerned with vaccine interference (US Army research indicated that recipients of the annual flu vaccination were 1.36 times more likely to contract Covid-19 than those unvaccinated) or the result that you are so sensitised to a virus by the vaccine that on your next exposure your immune system goes ‘ape’ and tries hard to kill you in an uncontrolled cytokine storm – as happened with some of the candidate vaccines to SARS-CoV-1.

          Reply
  59. g2-b1828afaee46bcd2ff3c30b165e528ee

    In the state of Victoria, Australia, the nursing home my mother is at has been completely locked down for weeks, you can’t visit, can’t even drop packages off at the front door (you can mail packages, they let the post through). Prior to this they had a limited lockdown, where you could briefly visit, but they checked your temperature before letting you in

    Reply
    1. Terry Wright

      sorry to hear this; surely after, if this madness ever settles, we must talk about this: we must talk about quality of life. There seems to be a fashion to arbitrarily cluster groups: the over 65s, the over 70s, and then weaponise them. By restricting everything that they can do, I will show you that I care much more; am much more compassionate; and I (beating my chest with both fists); am a much better person than you.

      Sort of like the story of bed-resting heart attack patients; oh, you do it for 3 days? Well, I am much better: I do it for a week. Phew, call yourself a doctor, I keep them in bed for 2 weeks; well, we all knew you were a bit slack: I insist strict bed-rest for a month; and onwards.

      Like the way “the bomber will always get through”, viruses seem to flow like oxygen and will move all around. There are always untowards consequences; un-thought-of effects; and adverse events to any “good intentioned” action. Those who say there is a crisis, always just have a “solution”. Stories of folks dying alone; seem to surely tear at the heart of what we used to call our humanity; now that has all been swept away, in our brave new world.

      Reply
  60. Charles Gale

    Just a heads up/reminder that engineer Ivor Cummins is busy producing podcasts, which can be seen either on youtube or his FatEmperor website.

    The 2 which I viewed yesterday were:

    – Episode 71 dated 17 April. This was with cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra and clocks in at approx. 20 mins and deals with viral resilience and
    – Episode 68 dated 14 April. This was with Australian MD Dr Paul Mason and clocks in at approx. 1 hour and deals with how to avoid viral impacts.

    Both of which had me rushing upstairs to check my old testing results or to see if I’d some of the tests done.

    It is interesting as the weeks turn into months to see what data are emerging about any commonalities with those who get the virus.

    Reply
  61. Tish

    I am clapping Sweden. Goran, you must be very proud of your country. It even has the humility to admit that more might have been done for care homes, with their very large numbers of residents. And this draws attention to the effect of resident numbers in care homes.

    Reply
    1. Göran Sjöberg

      Yes I am proud of our present attitude!

      Yesterday I observed a strange looking migrant bird in our garden so I called a “bird expert” friend about it. He didn’t hesitate for a minute but appeared today to socialize and watch the bird.

      As I have said it is rather relaxed here and that is fine.

      Reply
  62. Tom Welsh

    As no one authoritative has replied yet, Philip, here is my attempt. (I have no medical or scientific qualification).

    As I understood it, all vaccines and inoculations work, as you say, by stimulating the immune system. Indeed, that is true of most other medicines and treatments too (other than surgery of course).

    That is a most important thing to understand, as I think many lay people (including politicians) tend to believe that vaccinations somehow defeat diseases all by themselves – which is emphatically not the case.

    The principle is to introduce into the body some alien matter that the immune system can recognize and develop defences against – without giving the patient the full-blown disease. A classic example is Edward Jenner’s pioneering work (220 years ago) in vaccinating with cowpox to prevent people from catching smallpox. (The word “vaccination” is derived from Latin “vacca”, a cow). Whereas smallpox was often lethal, always very nasty and often disfiguring, cowpox was much milder – so getting cowpox in return for not getting smallpox was a good bargain.

    In the 20th century, unfortunately, vaccination became big business. Today, literally billions of dollars are earned by manufacturers and many people have come to suspect that some vaccines can actually cause serious harm. At this point the subject becomes controversial and to a certain extent a matter of opinion; obviously a lot of people stand to gain in various ways from widespread or universal vaccination, so one has to weigh conflicts of interest and recognize special pleading.

    As for Covid-19, it is said to be a coronavirus – as are the strains that cause about 15% of common colds (the other 85% are rhinoviruses – “nose virus”). Scientists have been trying to concoct vaccines against the common cold for a century, with no success at all. That’s partly because the virus keep on mutating and evolving, which is why flu vaccines are so often effective against “last year’s model” of virus but not the latest strains. So it may be very difficult and time-consuming, if it’s even possible, to create a safe and effective vaccine against Covid-19.

    The more effective course seems to me just to let the disease run its course. It will kill some, give many others a passing illness, and (one hopes) not even by noticed by the great majority. Once infected, everyone should develop immunity without any artificial aids such as vaccines. Vaccination makes best sense when it guards against a really terrible disease such as smallpox. For a disease like Covid-19, which seems likely to kill or seriously harm only a very small minority, the costs and risks of vaccination may not be worthwhile – even if there were a vaccine, which there isn’t.

    I personally feel that some vaccines are ineffective and even harmful, but that is just my unqualified opinion. Here are a few links to articles arguing the case against vaccines (or, more exactly, in favour of greater caution in using vaccines). You may be put off by seeing that the sites hosting these articles look a bit “fringe” or even cranky. That’s mainly because the mainstream media won’t touch any criticism of vaccines with a barge pole, and such discussions are often deleted even from social media. Please read and judge for yourself with an open mind. If you read just one article, I suggest the first one (by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr).

    https://childrenshealthdefense.org/news/flu-misinformation-and-coronavirus-fears-my-letter-to-dr-sanjay-gupta/

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/04/no_author/new-study-the-flu-vaccine-is-significantly-associated-with-an-increased-risk-of-coronavirus/

    https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-10-09-who-admits-polio-outbreak-caused-by-vaccines.html

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/02/joseph-mercola/how-aluminum-damages-your-brain/

    Reply
    1. Tom Welsh

      Alsp please note this, linked to by elizabethhart in a much earlier comment in this thread:

      “Is it ethical to impede access to natural immunity? The case of SARS-CoV2” (BMJ)
      https://www.bmj.com/content/368/bmj.m1089/rr-6

      “If children, young adults and others can mount their own effective immune response to SARS-CoV2, is it ethical to impede their ability to access natural immunity by interfering with the natural progression of the virus?..

      “In regards to young people’s and others’ right to natural immunity, it’s also vital to consider the startling admission by Heidi Larson, Director of The Vaccine Confidence Project, during the recent WHO Global Vaccine Safety Summit, i.e. ‘…We’ve shifted the human population…to dependency on vaccine-induced immunity…We’re in a very fragile state now. We have developed a world that is dependent on vaccinations’.

      “This is a very alarming statement by Professor Larson, particularly with the prospect of other epidemics emerging in the future. We have to learn to deal with epidemics and illnesses as they emerge, it’s not feasible to vaccinate the global population against every threat”.

      Reply
      1. Tom Welsh

        This is a very striking example of the irreconcileable clash between the profit motive and the pursuit of health. To anyone selling vaccines for profit, “a world that is dependent on vaccinations” is wonderful news; the customers are permanently hooked on the product.

        To anyone aiming to keep people healthy, it is a terrible blunder.

        We really have to decide which we want: to allow those who wish to the freedom to maximize their profits by any means; or to keep as many people healthy for as long as possible. We cannot have both.

        Reply
        1. AhNotepad

          I don’t have any religious faith, but one statement in The Bible seems to apply to much of the commercial world, and big pharma in particular

          THE LOVE OF MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL.

          Reply
          1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

            I think the love of power (over others) also plays a part. Also status. I don’t think Bill Gates – for example – is motivated by money any more. He wants enormous political power without the tiresome effort of having to get elected. He is simply using his money to pull the levers of power. He is beholden to no-one, he has no official status. He is now that most scary of things. A man with massive power over us all, without any accountability, or responsibility. If he gets it wrong, he simply walks away. As do the Imperial College epidemiologists – whose strange, evidence free models, now rule the world.

          2. Sasha

            I keep discussing with people whether power is the ultimate goal. Or is it an idea? I always thought that ideas are more powerful than a quest for power. But I may be wrong

          3. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

            I would argue that an idea is simply power in another form. The good thing about an idea is that you can never kill it, nor does it ever run out of money. It can live for ever.

          4. Sasha

            Yes, that is true but what is most important for an individual? A personal quest for power or a larger idea? I always thought that the most successful individuals are motivated first and foremost by an idea they serve.

            However, I do have friends who are psychologists and they disagree with me.

          5. Tom Welsh

            Dr Kendrick, I think that in this context money and power are interchangeable. Those who have money use it to gain power, and vice versa. Moreover, if you have enough money you can buy the goodwill and acquiescence of politicians, and procure almost anything. (In many parts of the world a murder can be bought for $100 or less).

            I think you are absolutely right about status. Most apes and monkeys have quite elaborate “pecking orders”, but the main determinant of status is the ability to beat the &*%# out of any challenger (and maybe kill it). Humans are a much more complicated case, because we have scores of separate pecking orders which cut across one another. I defer to you as a doctor, but you might respect my skill as a musician (if I had any); and if we met in a dark alley and I politely requested that you give me your wallet, you might comply. A great deal of fiction, poetry and drama deal with conflicting dominance hierarchies such as that explored in the film “The King’s Speech” (the Prince of Wales, later King George VI, has a speech impediment and the doctor who can help him overcome it becomes almost an intimate, although socially very much his inferior). My favourite line from that: “What should I call you?” “Your Royal Highness”.

            It seems certain that most of the world’s richest people are driven mainly by competitiveness. In the computer world, it has been a standing joke for decades that Larry Ellison (founder of Oracle), the sixth richest person in the world, is miserable because he has less money than Bill Gates! Neither of them wish to spend any sizeable fraction of their wealth; it represents “pecking order points”. Yet if at death’s door, they both would defer utterly to you…

          6. Göran Sjöberg

            Well,

            I don’t think you can separate the love of power from the love of money but I believe, with Malcolm, that the love of power comes first and this love of power has followed “humanity” (and probably most animal species) from the very beginning of Homo Sapiens about 100 000 years ago. You may interpret the cave “art” in southern France in the same way – by a small elite to impress and stay on top 50 000 years ago.

            On this theme I just now happen to read a book; “History of the Franks” written by Gregory Bishop of Tours written by the end of the sixth century when Christianity was established over the heathen Gauls. A favorite “hobby” among the ruling class at that time seemed to be to chop the heads of any relative competing for the ultimate power over the fellow citizens – “wrong religious behavior” was a good pretext – as today. The love of power was evidently stronger the the love of their brothers and sisters.

          7. andy

            Hi Göran Sjöberg: re chopping off heads
            Another interpretation is that we seek power in order to dominate. For modern humans money is the required ingredient. In the animal kingdom bigger horns or muscles was sufficient to become the dominant male, the runner up got nothing. Humans with their bigger brains have more options at their disposal to dominate. The basic instinct is still in our reptilian DNA.

          8. Sasha

            I disagree. Some humans come to influence through non-monetary means. Look at Mandela, for example. Or the Pope.

          9. andy

            Hi Sasha, two modern black swans. The traditional popes were all about money and power. Mandela had support from outside the country. The instinct to dominate is universal, all that is required is opportunity to be manifested.

    2. AhNotepad

      I think Edward Jenner was pretty nearly the Bill Gates of his time, just nowhere near as rich. A lot of people died from being infected with his potion. They stopped dying in such frequent numbers when the mandate to get infected was overturned by parliament. Gary Ogden has explained this earlier.

      Reply
    3. teedee126

      Once again, many thanks for the information you provide for our perusal and consideration. Lay person or not, you’re doing a great service for those of us who have previously stayed somewhat neutral on the subject, for whatever reason(s).

      Reply
    1. AhNotepad

      Why doesn’t Bill Gates sod off? I didn’t agree to his deciding what is best for my welfare. He does seem to decide a lot of what is best for his bank balance though.

      Reply
  63. Tom B

    Does anyone have any information, know of any blogs on the care-home situation in Scotland. My 78-year old mother with mild dementia was admitted to one, very much against her and my (her sole-carer) will in early February and have not seen or spoke to her since then. No-one will tell me anything, no other relatives or family are interested in her plight.

    Reply
    1. teedee126

      I’m so sorry to hear this, Tom. I could cry reading your post. I hope you find the answers you need and can see your mom very soon. Hang in there (and may I say, your mom is very lucky to have YOU in her corner, at least). All the best to you both.

      Reply
  64. Tom Welsh

    Tom B, by what authority was your mother “admitted” (I assume that means “incarcerated”)? Something similar happened to my mother long ago, but she had been in hospital for a long time with recurrent strokes, inability to speak and a broken femur.

    Reply
    1. Tom B

      @Tom Welsh (April 19, 2020 at 4:26 pm)

      ‘Concerned’ Social-Workers, took her, or rather dragged her, resisting all the way, she and I had terrible flu late December, the worst both of us had ever experienced, plentiful catarrh, cough, weakness. Left us both weak and tired. Me additionally with chest pain on lhs (frequently get chest pain on rhs, never on the left) from coughing so much, think I developed pleurisy, as I smoke and have lung-damage from previous employment spray-painting, and severe post-prandial blood-sugar-lows (like 0.7 mmols/litre).
      My mum had following the worst of the flu-like symptoms, diahoreah for about two weeks, so bad that we couldn’t get a stool-sample it was so runny, following that she had constipation, plus no appetite, eventually got a stool-sample. Was supposed to have been a respite-break for a few days, to give me as her carer a break, but she’s been there over two months, incommunicado. Last time she was in the same Care Home for five nights, she came back traumatised, and was terrified out of her wits, vehemently opposed to going back to the same place, but having lied to her, that’s where they took her.

      Reply
      1. Tom B

        I’ve had confirmation just this afternoon since posting that she’s well and in good-spirits! The place she’s in isn’t her or my choice, but it had vacancies, our preferred place didn’t, now she’s stuck there.

        Reply
        1. David R

          Tom – You and your Mother have our very best of wishes. It is a very upsetting situation. We can only keep you in our thoughts.

          Reply
      2. Terry Wright

        Sorry to hear of all this Tom; we tend to ridicule other countries in northern Europe as stereotypes of over-arching authority; but folks have emulated them pretty well recently elsewhere, surely??

        Sounds like you both had corona back then; thus you should both be immune: from good, strong Scottish stock.

        Reply
      3. Tom Welsh

        Please stop smoking NOW, Tom B. As I have mentioned before, all four of my grandparents and my father died of cancer – and all five of them smoked. It’s a nasty way to die, and smoking also makes it far more likely that something like Covid-B will get you.

        Best wishes for your mother and you. You are clearly made of good stock, and I very much hope you can battle through.

        Reply
        1. Stuart

          Got to agree – tobacco smoking is just slow suicide. In my family my grandfather and an uncle died of lung cancer, both heavy smokers, and another uncle and sister-in-law’s father died of emphysema despite stopping smoking 20+ years before. A chain-smoking couple I knew both died of emphysema – not a nice way to go, gasping for breath. People only associate smoking with lung cancer – in reality it’s a major factor in cancers of the mouth, nose, stomach, GI tract, liver, kidney, bladder etc etc. That’s in addition to heart disease, emphysema, bronchitis and increased risk of dieing of influenza, pneumonia and now coronavirus.

          Reply
  65. Tish

    Does anyone feel the same as me? – I hope not, in a way. I am not proud to admit it but all this Covid 19 foolishness is putting me off people and the world (with the obvious exceptions of you lot). I thought I was a real sceptic before but these events show me that I must have been quite naive all along. How do you trust, have confidence in, or even respect people after this? People talk glibly about getting back to normal but I am not sure I will ever feel the same about the world.

    Reply
    1. teedee126

      I have to admit to feeling very much the same way, Tish. It’s “normal” at a time like this, but like you, I wasn’t exactly seeing the world as all butterflies and rainbows before, but now, it’s a far darker reality. I won’t put into public words exactly some of the thoughts and feelings I’ve had, but like many, I have my bad moments and good. I ‘will’ keep fighting, though. I’ve come too far in life and put up with too much to be beaten down like a dog who cowers in a corner. No. I’ll keep seeking the truth and taking care of myself on my own terms as much as that’s possible in this world. Best…

      Reply
  66. Terry Wright

    I saw this comment

    “Bill Gates .. can’t even stop a virus from infecting a windows computer but he’s going to save the world with his vaccinations. How did he become the king?”

    Reply
    1. AhNotepad

      ”There was no point in seeking to convert the intellectuals. For intellectuals would never be converted and would anyway always yield to the stronger, and this will always be “the man in the street.” Arguments must therefore be crude, clear and forcible, and appeal to emotions and instincts, not the intellect Truth was unimportant and entirely subordinate to tactics and psychology.” Goebbels. Now replaced by Gates, ƒ©˙king Gates

      Reply
      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Sadly, and terribly, true. I am always aware that my efforts at reasoned argument can be overturned by one picture of someone dying. Emotion comes first, reason… is used to justify why that emotion is right.

        Reply
        1. AhNotepad

          We now have lay “experts” (politicians and bill gates (he doesn’t deserve capital letters)) who know the answers. Andrew Wakefield quoted “Follow the man who seeks the truth, run from the man whose found it”.

          Reply
      2. Mr Chris

        AHN
        Also possible Gates is a philanthropist and aims to help people.
        How can we tell.
        I used to have a poor opinion of him, but now, seeing him universally denigrated on this blog, I begin to have my doubts.

        Reply
        1. AhNotepad

          Yes, I’m sure he is a wonderful humanitarian, well known for a tetanus vaccination program in Africa which had a trivial adverse effect of sterilising women or causing abortions. Then there’s the Indian polio care program which meant cases of paralysis went from 6,000 to 60,000 a year, vaccine induced. He also justifiably implied Andrew Wakefield was a baby killer because of his position on vaccines. Yep, Bill Gates should have our full support for keeping Neil the-range-is-wide Ferguson in power, definitely a great man, well, in his own mind.

          Reply
    2. Gary Ogden

      Terry Wright: Cutthroat business practices. He figured out how to shove his inferior operating system (Windows) down everyones throat. I’ve thankfully switched to Apple (not that they’re nice folks, either, but they have a superior product.)

      Reply
      1. Tom Welsh

        In the long run, Linux is the only principled choice. In some ways it may be inferior to the propriatery operating systems, but it is made and maintained in the best way: by teams of voluntarily cooperating experts, not working for money.

        Just like the alphabet, the number system, the table of the elements, the Web, and so much more freely-given and shared knowledge.

        Reply
  67. teedee126

    Dr. Kendrick, since you and a few others have wondered aloud about the best treatments (I get the distinct impression none of you think ventilators are necessarily zeroing in on the problem) I thought I’d mention this story about a fellow Canadian who has just had to have his leg amputated (he’s a dancer and choreographer, no less). Some have mentioned blood clotting, etc and apparently, blood flow stopped to his leg and they put him on an ECMO machine as well as dialysis. I’m strictly a layperson here, so I’ll just post this, but hopefully better details about his treatment will come out soon: https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/canadian-stage-star-nick-cordero-to-lose-leg-in-fight-against-covid-19-1.4902527

    Reply
    1. teedee126

      I thought that some who mentioned blood clots would have found the above account interesting, but nevertheless, I’ll put this update here: it seems Nick Cordero ‘was’ put on blood thinners at one point, so perhaps some doctors realize there’s more to treating C19 than just antivirals, oxygen and finally intubation/ventilators? It didn’t save his leg, however as the blood clots stayed in the right leg, now amputated. https://people.com/theater/nick-cordero-to-have-leg-amputated-due-to-coronavirus-complications/?did=514647-20200421&utm_campaign=ppl-nonewsubs_relationship-builder&utm_source=people.com&utm_medium=email&utm_content=042120&cid=514647&mid=32576681343

      Reply
      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        In the end, all severe infections can cause damage to the endothelium. This, in turn triggers blood clots. In sepsis the thing that usually kills people is disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), leading to organ failure, and death. With bacterial infections, this is usually due to the release of exotoxins (toxic waste products excreted from the bacteria). These hit the endothelium and strip it off, causing clots to form on the areas of damage. With viral infections, often the viruses directly damage the endothelial cells and start to kill them. Same end effect with both. This is why I recommend vitamin C. This can help to protect the endothelium as they battle against the infectious agent and/or exotoxins. I also recommend using anticoagulants with severe bacterial and viral infections, as these can reduce the amount of clotting.

        It is no surprise to find people dying of major blood clotting problems with Covid. IN fact, it would be a surprise if they did not.

        The best cocktail in sepsis (apart from the antibiotics) is high dose vitamin C, thiamine, and a corticosteriod (to reduce the cytokine storm). Some doctors in the US are using this to combat Covid, with what seems to be good results. None of this will be done in the UK where doctors will continue to use the weapons used in all previous wars to fight this new enemy. Don’t ever try anything different. It might work.

        Reply
        1. teedee126

          I appreciate the reply, Dr. Kendrick. You’ve given a far more detailed, yet understandable description of the blood clotting than I was imagining. As tragic as this particular case is, I hope it will open up more in-depth discussions about the body’s response(s) to this virus, because I still haven’t heard a peep about blood clotting from endothelial damage in any mainstream articles or newscasts. Thanks, again.

          Reply
  68. roisin costello

    Hi Malcolm New times Listened to you this am on Steve Bennett podcast . Hadnt a clue re who Steve was , you were the draw . Great podcast . Question: What are your thoughts on following : First (symptomatic ) episode , 36 yr old male , fit ,non smoker ,no alcohol or rec drugs. Father has A Fib. The guy was under considerable pressure, wife due baby due to baby due shortly while trying to teach and look after elderly frail parents and their farm over an hours drive away . Symptomatic episode resolved 24 hrs Confirmed by Ecg and confirmed by Ecg to have reverted to sinus rythym Should he be on a Noac ? Trying to find the correct figures re absolute risk of cva and value of a Noac here Regards Roisin Costello

    Reply
  69. Terry Wright

    So it seems that Mr Gates has put 180million pounds into IC: (the ones that brought us the Doomsday Model); the three areas: vaccine development, lockdown and models all now seem intimately tied in together;

    Here is Gates talking recently:

    comments from this article

    https://off-guardian.org/2020/04/04/did-bill-gates-just-reveal-the-reason-behind-the-lock-downs/

    Gates talking ……………… at 33:45, :

    “We don’t want to have a lot of recovered people […] 

    To be clear, we’re trying – through the shut-down in the United States 

    – to not get to 1% of the population infected. 

    We’re well below that today, but with exponentiation, 

    you could get past that three million [people or approximately one percent of the U.S. population being infected with COVID-19 and the vast majority recovering]. 

    I believe we will be able to avoid that with having this economic pain.””

    Comment from the interviewer: it appears that rather than let the population be exposed to the virus and most develop antibodies that give them natural, long-lasting immunity to COVID-19, 

    ……… Gates and his colleagues far prefer to create a vast, hugely expensive, new system of manufacturing and selling billions of test kits,

    ……..and in parallel very quickly developing and selling billions of antivirals and vaccines.”

    (As we know Mr Gates’ operating system has been plagued with viruses!! …. he knows viruses well!!!

    “Right after that, at 34:14, Gates talked about how he sees things rolling out from there.”

    “Eventually what we’ll have to have is certificates of who’s a recovered person, 
    …….who’s a vaccinated person […] 

    ………..Because you don’t want people moving around the world where you’ll have some countries that won’t have it under control, sadly. 

    …………You don’t want to completely block off the ability for people to go there and come back and move around. 

    ………….So eventually there will be this digital immunity proof that will help facilitate the global reopening up.””

     they want to use ID2020      https://id2020.org

    Isn’t this a fine new world, a-coming our way?

    What a modest and selfless man to do all this work, just for our benefit: bring on this Brave New World.

    Reply
    1. Tish

      Thank you Terry. Rather a lot of soporific, confused waffling from bill gates. Did he actually answer the questions?! The questioners were far too biased in his favour, too.

      Reply
  70. Yolanda

    In the Netherlands the government informed us weeks ago that all the extreme measures we were taking were ment to protect the old and frail. Last week we were informed that many old people in nursing / care homes were dying or had died of covid. The reason for this catastroph is that mistakes were made and during a crisis such things happen. Yeah, right!

    So Dutchland was closed to protect the elderly but somehow all the vunerable people in homes were completely forgotten. This seems to be happening in many countries, even Sweden. I find this totally unacceptable. Ruining the economy of your country to protect the elderly is one thing but ruining it while totally failing to protect them, another.
    And ruining the economy doesn’t make any sense to begin with, not in any way shape or form.

    We are in a very deep crisis, not because of covid, but because of blundering world leaders who seem to be without any sense whatsoever.

    BTW I noticed that both in Dutchland and Britain where we had cut back after cut back there seems to be an awful lot of money all of a sudden. Apparently the Dutch PM found 90 billion euro lying around in an old sock or something. It is a funny old world, innit?

    Reply
    1. David R

      Hi Yolanda, A fine mess – how to make a difficult situation worse. I saw a quote a day or two ago that made me laugh, but was too close to the truth.

      “Just be thankful that you don’t get all the things that your government pays for”

      In defence of Sweden (and I have not always been complimentary about the country – it has problems that need sorting, but they are not for this forum)

      I believe that they went the correct C-19 route and hope that they stay strong to see it through. Also they have acknowledged up-front the disaster in their care homes and have apologised for it. Apparently in Sweden they have larger care homes which have seen rapid spread of the virus. Next door Norway has much smaller units that have limited the spread, so far.

      Yes money is no object when you can borrow it (or print it) – I have a few acquaintances who take a similar view with their personal finance – well I don’t think they print it!

      I almost never believe the conspiracy theory, thinking cock-up is more likely, but is the intention at the end of this for the Western World to throw up their hands at the devastation and default on our debts?

      Reply
      1. Yolanda

        Hi David,

        Yes, IMO Sweden is on the right track with covid19. For now their numbers are somewhat elevated compared to, say, Denmark. But, as soon as Denmark unlocks the lockdown their numbers will go up again and it is the same for every country that is now in lockdown. Lockdowns are merely postponing the inevitable: people are going to die. With covid19 it is mainly the old and frail but not exclusively.

        Of course nobody is happy that the old codgers and codgerettes are dying, especially not in this horrid way, but we all have to die sometime and it is high time that we face up to the fact that death comes for us all. I find it amazing that quite a substantial part of the ,mostly western, population are shocked that there is such a thing called death, judging by their collective hysteria about covid19.

        Sweden dropped the ball as far as their care homes are concerned but they are not the only one, in Dutchland, UK, France and many other countries the same disaster is happening. BTW in Dutchland we mostly have big care homes so we face the same horrid scenario as Sweden.

        From where I am standing this whole mess could have been avoided by not cutting down healthcare to the absolute minimum or even beyond that. Then more than adequate care could have been provided to all, patients, nurses, doctors etc. That would also have given us more time to think about what measures to take instead of going into a blind panic resulting in lockdowns that are not going to stop this virus. Nothing is going to stop it. We can’t even stop the common cold or flu.

        We have to let nature run its course, it always does anyway, protect the old and frail who want to be protected , give the absolute best care to all who need it and that is pretty much that. We do this when the flu hits so why not with covid19?

        Saw this update by John Ioannidis from Stanford and he says that covid19 is as deadly as your average flu. Oopsies, most of the world in ruins about ….

        Reply
    2. AhNotepad

      Yolanda, many will disagree, but I think these world leaders are not blundering, they may be doing what they are told, but either way this is intended, not a catalogue of mistakes.

      Reply
      1. Yolanda

        It is either colossal stupidity with a ginormous dollop of panic ,dear Notepad, or ….. pick a conspiracy theory of your liking. I am not saying that there aren’t extremely evil people doing evil things cough bill gates cough but …. time will tell.

        Right, off to the garden centre for some much needed eye candy. In Dutchland we have the lockdown lite version. Our PM calls it an intelligent lockdown, me, not so much.

        Reply
  71. Charles Gale

    Dr Suzanne Humphries – Facebook heads up/reminder

    With Bill gates and vaccinations featuring in the comments, it prompted me to check out Dr. Suzanne Humphries on Facebook.

    Plenty of unrestrained comments on Bill Gates (bad guy), Donald Trump (good guy), the “pharmacomilitia”, the media, the WHO and more.

    Reply
  72. Soul

    Saw this on a web sight i frequent. It’s what I’ve suspected, that it will not be possible to create an effective vaccine agains the corona virus.

    “Dr. Ostrov: a vaccine will not be effective against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)”

    https://ostrovlab.pathology.ufl.edu

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/heres-where-coronavirus-hides-in-your-body?ref=topic

    ….Ostrov for his part focused on the German team’s findings on antibodies, which our bodies produce via a process called “seroconversion.” “When aligned to viral load courses, it seems there is no abrupt virus elimination at the time of seroconversion,” the scientists wrote. “Rather, seroconversion early in week two coincides with a slow but steady decline of sputum viral load.”

    “This means that the antibodies are not effective at clearing the virus,” Ostrov told The Daily Beast.

    “This is relevant when thinking about viruses and vaccines. HIV also stimulates production of antibodies that fail to clear the virus, as do many other viruses, such as hepatitis virus C.”

    “People have tried and failed to generate vaccines against such viruses, so we should not be overconfident that a vaccine strategy will work,” Ostrov added…..

    Reply
  73. Martin Back

    Is there a limit to how many viruses our immune system can be prepared for? It has some sort of memory for viruses. Presumably it can’t remember more than a certain amount which nature has taught it to expect. There’s always a price to be paid. Alternatively, is the penalty for having a big library of viruses a reduced ability to manufacture the relevant antibodies rapidly and in great numbers?

    Reply
    1. andyUnknown or Deleted Userandy

      Hi Martin: re immune system capacity to make antibodies
      Suppose you are a chef in a busy dining room and there is a rush order for a fancy meal. Realizing that some ingredient are not available one can omit them or make a substitution. Also your cookbook might be smudged with ketchup and the ingredients or quantities are illegible, or the cook is going by memory and makes a mistake. The same process could be happening with the immune system. A discerning customer would be able to recognize the difference. A vaccine is not the real deal.

      Reply
  74. Martin Back

    Testicles may make men more vulnerable to coronavirus: study
    https://nypost.com/2020/04/19/testicles-may-make-men-more-vulnerable-to-coronavirus-study/

    “the virus attaches itself to a protein that occurs in high levels in the testicles. This protein, known as angiotensin converting enzyme 2, or ACE2, is present in the lungs, the gastrointestinal tract and the heart in addition to large quantities in the testicles. But since testicles are walled off from the immune system, the virus could harbor there for longer periods than the rest of the body, according to the study. The mother-daughter researchers said these findings may explain why women bounce back from the virus more quickly than men.”

    Reply
    1. SteveR

      May I be the first to volunteer to remove the threat to our illustrious PM?

      I have a rusty knife somewhere in the shed.

      Reply
    2. Martin Back

      Sophie’s choice: vaccinate or castrate?

      Of course, if you were actually Sophie, it’s not a choice you’d have to make.

      Reply
  75. Terry Wright

    “The elderly” are repeatedly talked of; perhaps as though they were one, homogeneous collection of souls; I thought to again post earlier information:

    From here https://academic.oup.com/ageing/article/33/6/561/16174 they talk of a national UK census in 2004 for care home residents. Please supply a more updated version if you can.

    Some things from the summary

    “25% were ‘residential’ and 75% in ‘nursing’ care” .. we will describe nursing care later.

    ” Medical morbidity and associated disability … had driven admission in over 90% of residents”

    “More than 50% of residents had dementia, stroke or other neurodegenerative disease.”

    “Overall, 76% of residents required assistance with their mobility or were immobile.”

    “78% had at least one form of mental impairment and 71% were incontinent.”

    “27% of the population were immobile, confused and incontinent”

    So we can talk of “the absolute best care”: when asked to explain what we mean by this, we perhaps have visions of “cures”; folks magically “fixed” and “restored to perfect health”:

    It is not clear, but some; many; seem to see death as the ultimate failure of what is termed modern medicine. Vast sums of money have till now been spent in the US on folks who are ill; terminal; the phrase seems to mean little it seems in the US; and the UK? and one can find many papers that show how much is spent in the last one month, or three months, of someone’s life.

    For those in care homes, it would seem from the above: “more than 50% of residents had dementia, stroke or other neurodegenerative disease.” Few would seem to volunteer in such institutions, to see the reality of what is involved. How many folks would reflect on what life might be like with a stroke: unable to move an arm or leg on one side; I know my father was quite clear: he dreaded the thought, having had a short-lived episode.

    I do worry that we “weaponise” folks over a certain age; that we can make grand statements of “absolute best care”: but how many of us will volunteer to help look after them: either with bed baths, or patiently trying to feed them; or talking to them, or reading to them, if they have dementia; how many will go to a care home and offer to help take some for a walk; is it not always “someone else” who must do these ennobling things for us; can we; who hold such high aspirations for their care; be seen as having “skin in the game” if we do several shifts a week volunteering to contribute to the care we write so enthusiastically about?

    Reply
    1. AhNotepad

      The caption under the photo of that Hancock bloke is amusing “The health secretary, Matt Hancock, is a serial promiser rather than deliverer. He is like a signalman with his wires cut.”.

      Reply
  76. mmec7

    A friend sent me an article from the International edition of the Guardian dd 20 April, re the Swedish care homes. A friend sent me an article from International Edition of the Guardian dd 20 April re the care home numbers in Sweden – figures released by the Public Health Agency of Sweden indicated that 1,333 people had now died of coronavirus, the country’s normally unflappable state epidemiologist Anders
    Tegnell admitted that the situation in care homes was worrying.
    The article does not give any overall figure, so there is nothing to measure this number against, but feel it is possibly media overplaying.
    Have been applauding Sweden’s stance – I have family in Sweden.

    Reply
    1. David R

      I guess that there is a tale to tell in nearly every country about Care Homes and C-19. It is a problem of us living longer. Is it a perfect storm that medical science keeps us going longer and longer – then it collides with the need to keep old folks alive “whatever it takes”. What to do with old folk near end of life (and more specifically the cost involved) has been on the political agenda for more than 20 years and governments of all stripe have just kicked the can down the road.

      I have said before that it is hard to get most people,even those that have been around as long me (I’m 74), to understand that thousands die every year of respiratory illness/pneumonia. It is beginning to look as though C-19 is like a bad flu epidemic – but it is on top of the 25,000 plus flu/pneumonia patients that have died this season, that is coming towards an end. I have seen very little attempt by the Chief Medical Officer (and surely it should be his responsibility) to express the current C-19 numbers in comparison to an average Flu year. The one time I heard a figure quoted it was 8,000. Which is odd since the average of the previous 5 years to 2019 was 17,000 and of course there were more than 28,000 Flu deaths in the 2014/15 season.

      As of yesterday the total deaths Worldwide attributed to C-19 was around 170,000 – it will obviously go higher. BUT in that 2014/15 Flu season 217,000 people died in Europe alone. And nobody noticed!!! What will Boris and his crew do when another 28,000 death Flu season arrives – Lockdown and trash the economy again? Oh! David, don’t be silly, nobody will notice as long the NHS is not troubled too much.

      The object of the excise has been achieved – to frighten citizens beyond sense in a way we have not seen before – it’s hard not to feel we are being played here by power interests.

      More people seem to be questioning where we are going – like Jaime Jessop. A piece worth reading. I don’t have subscription to read the full Telegraph article that is quoted.

      https://cliscep.com/2020/04/19/modelling-catastrophe-in-a-climate-of-fear/

      Reply
  77. Kevin Frechette

    Hi Malcolm,

    Thanks for highlighting the scandal occurring with the Long Term Care homes. I think it’s been on the verge of collapse for a long time. Our hospitals have been overloaded with mental patients, overdosing druggies and from being downsized and ill equipped for a long time.

    Last Spring, my 87 y/o Dad took ill and picked up C-Difficile in the Hospital. He had just received antibiotics before going in then had a series of radiation treatments for colon cancer which had left him vulnerable. My poor Dad had 3 bouts of C-Diff with antibiotics and I gave my Mom probiotics and fermented pickles and saurkraut to build up his gut flora. She wouldn’t give them to him until the 3rd round but I think that was the fix.

    What’s interesting is that our hospital publishes C-Diff numbers and our hospital is one of the worst in Ontario, Canada with numbers equal to when the outbreak a few years ago was in full force. Once the panic is over for these pandemics, it’s not newsworthy and things go back to normal but the patients pay a huge price and nothing ever changes.

    Fecal transplants have been proven to treat C-Diff but the medical establishment won’t consider it as it is a natural treatment.

    When this is all over, the Covid-19 virus will be one more thing that you will get from the dirty hospitals.

    Reply
  78. shirley3349

    Short of quarantining the staff with the residents of care homes, which would probably have led to the large-scale resignation of those with family responsibilities, I cannot see how this worrying problem could have been avoided.

    Barrier nursing against air or droplet borne disease is well nigh impossible, even with plenty of equipment. It used to be hard even in isolation hospitals with their highly trained staff, General hospitals may try to keep known cases on designated wards but they face the same problems with asymptomatic staff spreading the infection throughout the hospital.

    From what I have read, the best solution would be to step down most of the restrictions week by week over the next month, warning the public that a new wave of cases is inevitable. People should be encouraged to make the best of any good summer weather to socialise in the fresh air rather than indoors. Restrictions on large gatherings should be kept on for a month or two more. Better to get this over with largely during the summer than have it run on into the next winter flu season.

    Keeping the population waiting for a vaccine puts too much power in the hands of the drug companies. If a relatively safe and effective vaccine becomes available, it should be offered to the most vulnerable first, under carefully controlled conditions. There must be absolutely no compulsion in this matter. Also, the members of the board of any company that releases an unsafe product without proper trials should be held personally liable for damages for negligence in addition to the company’s liability. In the event of any deaths, they should be investigated and possibly tried for murder or manslaughter, depending on the circumstances.

    Reply
    1. David R

      Agree with all of that Shirley.

      “Keeping the population waiting for a vaccine puts too much power in the hands of the drug Companies “

      Or Bill Gates and who does he donate to? Imperial College.

      Reply
    2. mmec7

      I agree with all of that Shirley. As for Gates…that self satisfied smile on his face – hope there is some way to wipe it off – definitely liability MUST be brought into the handling of any and indeed ALL vaccine plans. Certainly NO mandatory COVID vaccine permitted. I don’t trust them with a single breath. Corruption personified.

      Reply
  79. Terry Wright

    Hi Kevin; you are absolutely right; it is a scandal. We need to find the people that are responsible, punish them and set an example. As you know, the brightest of young minds going through medical school are irrestistibly attracted to long-term geriatric care; and indeed, is so much of the population. It is very easy to staff long-stay homes. In northern Italy, they could only staff their long-stay care homes with many folks from eastern Europe. It seems other countries may be the same.

    For an uplifting and optimistic view of how we could all do things better, can I commend the book “The way we die now” by Seamus O’Mahoney, a physician in Cork. From experience, he describes many current things and issues, and I think we can cede him the spot to talk, as he helps with the care of many. I thoroughly recommend it.

    As we confidently emerge from the current quicksands where we all happily reside, we can look forward to vigorously stronger economies all round in coming months and years; from which we can confidently generate the economic wealth so that can enthusiastically fund all the aspirations that we have for improvements in everything.

    Reply
  80. Mike Smith

    By kicking out the elderly you may show the NHS as coping with COVID19 and capacity to spare. At the same time by kicking them out we can help to keep our official death figures down, lets face it the recovery rate for our seniors is not brilliant. Governments love to manipulate figures such as unemployment, immigration and now COVID19. As shameful and disgusting the notion is, i’m afraid our seniors have been politically shafted. But hey, lets not stop the government patting itself on a job well done.

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      Mike,

      I think you nobody can get their heads round this problem without internalising the zeroth law of life.

      The zeroth law of life says that all multicellular organisms die eventually.

      OK I just invented that, and I am not sure how to characterise slime moulds. Also, to a single celled organism, maybe dividing is analogous to death, rather as salmon make a final journey, spawn, and die.

      Based on that law, and ignoring those quibbles, there is no value in saving people from death – because it is impossible – but only in giving them extra time on earth that they can in some way enjoy.

      My guess would be that a survey of care home residents (has this ever been done?) would reveal a proportion A who still valued their lives, a proportion B who were actually looking forward to death, and a proportion (1-A-B) (perhaps the majority) who wouldn’t even understand the question.

      If the government said “We are locking everyone down so that those who are ready to die, or have passed the point when they can answer the question, everyone would see the utter absurdity of that policy.

      So then we could face the real question – is the lockdown needed to extend the lives of those in category A?

      Reply
      1. David Bailey

        Sorry, there were too many typos my last post.

        The penultimate sentence should read:

        If the government said “We are locking everyone down for months on end so that those who are ready to die, or have passed the point when they can answer the question can be saved from death, everyone would see the utter absurdity of that policy.

        Reply
  81. Terry Wright

    You sound very angry Mike: indeed outraged;

    “I’m afraid our seniors have been politically shafted”

    “By kicking out the elderly”

    please; what do you say has been done?

    Reply
  82. mmec7

    Releasing Covid patients back to their rest homes – this from New York today, the story was lso carried by the N.Y. Times – bears out the very scenario that Dr Kendrick has outlined –
    The Health Department of New York made a deadly decision on March 25 ( https://www.dailywire.com/news/new-york-required-nursing-homes-to-admit-medically-stable-coronavirus-patients-the-results-were-deadly ) when it forced nursing homes to take in people who held a positive diagnosis for coronavirus in certain cases.

    It was determined by the state of New York that these coronavirus patients were “medically stable,” but in actuality, they were far from stable. They still carried the disease that could be easily passed to others in these crowded facilities.

    Reply
    1. mmec7

      Good newsletter – interesting. Dr Khan sure sounds a good man – loved his twitter site, most amusing. Thanks for the share.

      Reply

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