The Mad Modellers of Lockdown

19th May 2020

It appears we went into lockdown based on the modelling of one man – and his team. Neil Ferguson from Imperial College London. His workings predicted that, if nothing were done to prevent the spread of COVID, half a million people would die in the UK.

His prediction shaped the response of many countries around the world, definitely in the UK and the US. So, where did this half a million-figure come from? On a related note, the two million figure for the US is something which makes no sense at all.

This is because the US has five times the population of the UK. Thus, everything else being equal, in the US number should be two point five million. Even I can multiply 500,000 by five.

Getting back to Ferguson, and his model. So far, he has refused to release the data underpinning his model. Which, considering the impact it has had, is completely unacceptable. I think I would have given him a Chinese burn, at the very least, to get him to show me how he worked things out.

In truth, it is not exactly difficult to establish where this number came from. You can simply work backwards. There are sixty-six million six hundred thousand people living in the UK. If five hundred thousand die, that represents an infection fatality rate (IFR) of 0.75%. In other words, for every thousand people getting infected with COVID, seven and a half will die – on average.

Of course, there is an assumption built into the model that not everyone will get infected. Which is reasonable. There has been no pandemic in the history of the world where a bug managed to infect everyone – although it might be interesting to know why some people do not get infected, ever, when everyone around them is… This, I find, is the sort of question that never gets much looked at. Oh well.

Anyway, the Ferguson model predicts that eighty per cent of people could end up infected with COVID (which seems extraordinarily high and is simply a guess). That eighty per cent would happen if we all mingle and go to the pub, football matches, and suchlike. This increases the infection fatality rate (IFR) to 0.937% (0.75 ÷ 0.8). An IFR of 0.937% means that for every thousand people who get infected, nine and a half will die – on average.

The Ferguson team came up with an IFR of 0.9% (range 0.4 – 1.4), but I have no idea why it is not 0.937%. They talked about ‘mitigation’, but that didn’t seem to mean anything – it was just a fudge factor. Maybe they thought giving such a precise figure would look ridiculous when there are so many unknown variables flying about. True, but then again, I think the figures of 80% and 0.9 are simply wild guesses and look equally ridiculous.

The entire model can be seen in the original Ferguson model 1. By the way, I think I should mention that this paper was published on the 16th of March. Bear that date in mind.

So, that’s the model. Not very difficult really. Even though it is presented as some hugely complex mathematical monster, requiring the use of several super-computers running day and night to deal with the vast swathes of equations and data. Not so. You just need to do this:

66,600,000 x 0.009 x 0.8 = 500,000 (actually 479,520)

“Difficulty is a coin which the learned conjure with so as not to reveal the vanity of their studies and which human stupidity is keen to accept in payment.” Michel de Montaigne

You may wonder what the difference is between Case Fatality Rate (CFR), which is often mentioned, and the Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) – which is rarely mentioned. At the moment the case fatality rate (CFR) in the UK is well over 10%. This is clearly much higher than any predicted IFR.

The reason for this massive difference is because, if you only test people who are very ill, who have arrived in hospital (the bad cases of COVID), you are only testing those who are most ill, and most likely to die. Which gives you this very high CFR.

During any epidemic the CFR will always be high at the start, then start to fall, as more and more people with milder and milder symptoms are tested. Or, you later find out how many were actually infected.

However, unless you test everyone in the community, even those with no symptoms, the CFR will always be larger than the IFR. I hope this is clear.

This is a long-winded way of saying that no-one had much of a clue what the COVID-19 IFR may be. In the UK this is still the case, because no-one has a clue as to how many people have actually been infected.

All is not lost though, you can try to make a best guess, and you can do this by looking at the population, or country, where the greatest percentage of the population has been tested. At present that country is Iceland, total population 366,130.

With regard to the CFR in Iceland, as of the 10th of May, fifty-four thousand tests had been done. There were 1,800 positive cases, and the total number of deaths was ten, with no deaths for the previous three weeks. This represents a case fatality rate of 0.55%.2

This figure is the absolute maximum CFR, because it has not changed since the 19th of April, and there were another twelve thousand tests during that time, with only twenty-two more positive cases.

What does this tell us about the IFR? Well, we know that IFR will always be lower than the CFR. However, even if we assume that the CFR and IFR in Iceland are the same (which is next to impossible) the maximum death rate, in the UK, based on those figures, would be

66,600,000 x 0.0055 x 0.8 = 293,600

As an aside in Iceland they randomly tested 848 children and found that the number infected was 0.00%. Some of those children must have been exposed to the virus, so viral exposure clearly does not even, always, lead to asymptomatic disease…

The 0.8 figure (80% of the population getting infected) still seems extraordinarily high to me, but I am willing to let it go. Even though it looks that the total number of people who may become infected is almost certainly far, far, less than 80%.

Leaving that issue aside, what is the next step in analysing the figures. It is to add in the fact that, at least, fifty per cent of people who become infected with Covid-19 are asymptomatic. So, using Iceland, the IFR can only be a half of the CFR. Which gives us this figure for the UK

66,600,000 x 0.0055 x 0.8 x 0.5 = 146,800

Anyway, as of today, that figure is a pretty reasonable estimate of the absolute maximum deaths we could have seen, in the UK, had we done nothing. One quarter of the Ferguson number.

Has the Ferguson number changed? Well, it has certainly wobbled about all over the place. On the 5th of April, Neil Ferguson made this prediction

‘LONDON (Reuters) – UK deaths from the coronavirus could rise to between about 7,000 and 20,000 under measures taken to slow the spread of the virus, Neil Ferguson, a professor at Imperial College in London who has helped shape the government’s response, said on Sunday.’ 4

As I write this, we have had just over 34,000 deaths under lockdown. So, not quite seven to twenty thousand. Undaunted, on the 28th of April Professor Ferguson changed his mind again, and then gave this warning:

‘100,000 could die of coronavirus this year if a gradual lockdown lift is implemented to just shield the elderly, warns epidemiologist Prof Neil Ferguson – as new analysis warns 60,000 are predicted to die by start of August.’ 3

“Five hundred thousand” changes to “seven to twenty thousand”, then becomes a “hundred thousand” or maybe “sixty thousand”. One two, miss a few, ninety-nine a hundred.

Yes, of course, we all know that Professor Ferguson was recently found to have been, repeatedly, visited by a young married lady. Thus, flouting the very lockdown rules that he had done so much to create. The words delicious, and irony, spring to mind. That, however enjoyable it may be as a Shakespearean tale, of a man laid low by hubris, is not the main point.

The main point is why the bloody hell, how the bloody hell, did this man – and his group – come to hold so much sway. His figures underpinning the original model could not be verified, because he would not release the source data. Even if the figures had been available for scrutiny they kept swinging wildly about the place and have already been proven to be blindingly inaccurate.

The IFR of 0.9% is clearly, quite clearly, wrong. It is at least four times too high. The truth is that you could have given me a fag packet and a pencil, and I could have given you a more accurate model. Or we could have used Paul the Octopus whom you may, or may not remember:

‘Paul the Octopus (26 January 2008 – 26 October 2010) was a common octopus used to predict the results of association football matches. Accurate predictions in the 2010 World Cup brought him worldwide attention as an animal oracle.’5

Instead, our Government just kept repeating the mantra. ‘We are being led by The Science.’ As if Science required a definite article. Here is ‘the science’, let me show it to you. Crikey, and here’s me, I thought science was a bunch of ideas, conjectures and hypotheses used to try and explain the physical world around us. Constantly under debate, always changing. Never certain.

But no, it turns out it is an actual thing. ‘The science’. Boris keeps it in number ten Downing Street, and they share a cup of tea in the afternoon, along with a few jammy dodgers. Luckily ‘The Science’ is immune to COVID, so social distancing is not required. The Science also, probably, moves in mysterious ways.

“The science moves in a mysterious way

Its wonders to perform

It plants its footsteps in the sea

And rides upon the storm”

To be a little more serious, what is the science that is leading them. Mathematical models? Models that change and swirl and have little basis in reality. Models used to create predictions. As a friend has remarked to me many times: “there are two types of prediction – lucky and lousy”.

Our lives, our economy, our health service, all those people no longer getting treatment for other conditions, the heart attack patients not turning up at hospital, the cancelled cancer treatments, thousands of small businesses sacrificed at the altar of a mathematical model created by the mad modellers of the lockdown. Our lives, in their hands.

K’inell. As they say.

1: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/sph/ide/gida-fellowships/Imperial-College-COVID19-NPI-modelling-16-03-2020.pdf

2: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_pandemic_in_Iceland

3: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-britain-ferguson/uk-coronavirus-deaths-could-reach-7000-to-20000-ferguson-idUSKBN21N0BN

4: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8258043/Professor-Neil-Ferguson-warns-100-000-UK-coronavirus-deaths-lockdown-lifted-soon.html

5: https://www.google.com/search?q=octopus+predicting+football+results&oq=Octopus+predi&aqs=chrome.4.0j69i57j0l6.5812j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

 

857 thoughts on “The Mad Modellers of Lockdown

    1. Mary

      Hi Malcolm,
      Your article doesn’t mention hospital capacity, connectedness of populations, demographics of populations (both age and race). Ours is certainly different to Iceland’s. There is more to the academic discipline of epidemiology than one multiplication.

      Reply
      1. Cheezilla

        Malcolm was simply demonstrating the flimsiness of the model. No one is going to wreck the economy, create a police state and throw our young people’s futures under the bus based on Malcolm’s model. Besides, if demographics had been taken into consideration, the policy makers surely wouldn’t have deliberately thrown the elderly out of hospital into ill-prepared care homes and then refused them NHS care.

        Reply
        1. KJE

          Why not? Rich people’s families are unlikely to suffer. And old people in care homes just cost the state and NHS money. And it’s easy to blame a mysterious, uncontrollable virus.

          Reply
      2. AhNotepad

        There certainly is more to this bug spreading and connectiveness, and we know very little. I would like Edgar Hope-Simpson’s book which really throws up questions very few can answer, and that includes epidemiologists.

        Reply
      3. David Bailey

        Mary,

        I think there has been a gradual acceptance that extremely complex systems such as climate, economies, epidemics etc can be handled by computer models that can handle maybe hundreds of different effects, and useful predictions can be made.

        I believe that this is utter nonsense.

        First of all, purely mathematical systems with many degrees of freedom are intrinsically hard/impossible to use for prediction because of the effects of noise and instances of mathematically chaotic situations.

        Second each of the processes you might put into a model depends on yet more processes, and ultimately these have to be modelled in a rough, approximate sort of way.

        In epidemiology there are obviously going to be complex, unpredictable feedback effects at work. For example as more people fall ill with a disease people will naturally take more and more precautions spontaneously.

        Also, in practice such models end up being controlled by a fantastic number of parameters that are ‘tuned’ by fitting the model to past events – past climate or past epidemics etc. – so they fit the past but are worthless to predict future events.

        Finally, models can also be ‘tuned’ to produce effects that the modeller believes to be true!

        Reply
    2. teedee126

      Forward this article to your government officials; that’s what I’ve been doing. They may not want to read it, but at least it gives us a chance to let them know that not all of us are compliant sheep, and we’re questioning their decision-making in all of this.

      Reply
    3. ralphie

      And those paltry death figures are severely inflated. Totalitarians and their henchmen must answer for crimes against humanity

      Reply
  1. John

    The original model has been severely criticised by software engineers and mathematical modellers as being too monolithic and very buggy. There is a version in the public domain which again is an horrendous piece of programming according to the same engineers. Apparently it is also 10+ years old. Therefore using this model as the basis of government policy is questionable at best.

    Reply
      1. John

        We are not in Kansas anymore, we just have to follow the science brick road to see the wizard in the emerald city.
        I have actually downloaded the model from GitHub but not tried to compile it yet.

        Reply
        1. Carole Simpson

          Thank you once again for being the little boy pointing out the emperors clothes are not quite what everyone else believes!

          Reply
      2. Lesley Shurlock

        I have said this in so many places, but Twitter seems to take it down. Briefly, Fergusson’s record:
        https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/six-questions-that-neil-ferguson-should-be-asked
        2005, Bird flu he said 200million would die actually 282 died worlwide between 2003 and 2009
        2009 Swine flu he predicted 65,000 (.4%). deaths in UK, actually 457 died in UK (.026%)
        2002 BSE. he estimated up to 50,000 UK deaths. there were 177 UK.
        2001 Foot&Mouth = his model was described as “seriously flawed”. “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.” He caused immeasurable suffering and loss, leading to the unnecessary slaughter of healthy herds, loss of very long blood-lines, suicides and the horrendous pyres of burning cattle. All because he did not bother to get the science right and understand the difference between different species. t and damaging en
        Therefore, all people with common sense are asking WHY did the government ask such an incompetent, arrogant, (for he clearly does not learn from his mistakes) and dangerous man to advise them concerning the predicted course of this virus?
        Why indeed? I would not ask him to weed my garden.
        The man is clearly so incompetent as to be crazy.
        And now he has proved himself to be dishonest. I don’t mean about the woman. I mean about not publishing his data, which every decent Scientist does. Even when he was shamed into producing something, he did notproduce the actual model he used but a whitewashed and tidied up example, an attempt to make it look respectable by Microsoft Technicians. There you have your clue. For Gates is in this. He sponsors Ferguson at Imperial, so Ferguson is his lap-dog, and Gates wants people terrified of the virus, locked in their homes, not able to meet or rationally discuss with each other (that’s why Social Media is being given a bad name and Twitter and others run by the Silicon Valley tycoons, take down rational discourse). We can only be allowed back to normal when we agree to have his vaccine. A vaccine rolled out in 18 months instead of 5 years. (I bet they have it already.) The vaccine Gates will hold the license for. And governments will have signed, indemnifying the Makers against anything going wrong because “there will be a trade off, there will be less safety testing and governments have to decide do they indemnify the Companies and really say let’s go out with this..” as Gates told the BBC.

        Reply
      3. nnmlly

        NF’s track record does not instil confidence. This from The Spectator:

        “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.”

        Reply
      4. Marion Robinson

        Ah well, lovely truthful Dr Kendrick, if I have to be in isolation ( I REFUSE to use the word lockdown, that’s what they do to prisoners, and as YET I’m not one of those ! )
        I can think of worse places to be, than my very rural cottage, on the stunning West coast of Scotland,re-reading your book ” The great cholesterol con ” I was told at my diabetic yearly check up,that as I was then in my mid 60’s with a cholesterol reading of 8,8 that I probably wouldn’t make it, if I didn’t take Statins,I’ve never gone down that route, & never will, & this was in 2009…STILL HERE smiling away, & don’t take any drugs at all, ! never have the flu jag ( scottish word )
        Sadly for me, the only time I listened to a Doctor, was when I was told Thalidomide was safe…
        My Daughter died, as did many other babies ! I have Ankylosing Spondylitis, & the only other drug I took was called ” OPREN ” in the Uk…it killed people, this was in the 80’s NO drugs for me since then, & never will be. We all need to fight this propaganda…I’m on your side Malcolm,
        They will never take our freedom !!!!!

        Reply
        1. Jerome Savage

          Thank you Elizabeth
          One quote wirth highlighting “.there are also pseudoscientists who use science to defend their opinion, their own pocket, or their passion”
          Dr Kendrick has indicated it as long time used, tried & tested for malaria treatment.
          Some media sources try to label it a poison. Anything to get at Trump it seems and knock cheap medicine.

          Reply
          1. Cheezilla

            They need to discredit it so they can push on with the vaccine agenda, or use a more lucrative treatment (remdesivir) which isn’t very effective.

    1. conbradley

      A lot of code is monolithic and buggy and old. Weather forecasting and banking have very old software at their core. If you’re using an Android phone for example, you’re relying on software (Linux and C) developed decades ago. All software is buggy, it’s just that you haven’t found all the bugs. The only valid test of any model is if its predictions match other, independently developed models. Did other models make the same predictions? If so, then there’s a good chance it was correct.

      Reply
      1. dearieme

        “The only valid test of any model is if its predictions match other, independently developed models.” Good Lord, but what if the unanimous voice of these models disagrees with reality? Don’t you think the facts should be declared winners?

        Reply
          1. Terry

            Every programmer I ever met who had worked at a bank said it was a miracle any of their software ever worked properly. Thing is though it usually does. Irrespective of who wrote Ferguson’s ridiculous amateur coding (- no, it’s not enough just to know, or even only have a scanty knowledge of, the syntax) it has shown itself time after time not to work by making false predictions. It’s job was to make reasonably accurate ones about the reality. That is why the imbecility of the code is relevant.

          2. Harry de Boer

            @Terry No, the job of ‘the code’ was to come up with scary numbers. That’s why Ferguson was there because he was the man that was willing to do that.
            Gates: “Give us up to 500,000 deaths.”
            Ferguson: “Yes Sir, tomorrow.”

    2. Tom Welsh

      Actually, while I completely agree with you and those who tore the software to shreds, I think Dr Kendrick has just shown us that the quality of the software is irrelevant.

      As he says, the key figures emerge from the single equation the good doctor gives us:

      66,600,000 x 0.009 x 0.8 = 500,000 (actually 479,520)

      Which, as he rightly says, could have been scribbled on the back of a fag packet or (in a more likely scenario) a menu or napkin from The Ritz. Or a good schoolgirl mathematician could do it in her head.

      There’s no software there at all. And no science either. It’s just guessing with a few numbers. The whole “computer model” malarkey was thrown in to evoke that sense of mysterious awe and dread that it seems to evoke in plain folks.

      I appreciate Dr Kendrick’s very apt quotation from Montaigne, and I’ll raise him this:

      “On two occasions I have been asked, ‘Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?’ I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question”.

      – Charles Babbage, Passages from the Life of a Philosopher, 1862 (first mention of “GIGO”)

      Reply
      1. David Bailey

        I have sensed for some time that academic science in many areas has become immensely arrogant while really losing the plot. This absurd situation seems to be the ultimate example of their folly.

        Reply
    3. Valda Redfern

      The age of the model code is irrelevant: I work with modellers, and some of their core code is at least that old. But, it is *good* code, in good models that have been thoroughly tested, validated using copious real data, and constantly refined. They would be appalled at the thought of using a model that could not give the same results twice in a row when using the exact same inputs.

      Reply
  2. Gearóid Ó Laoi

    There is another point. Many of the Icelanders may have been infected and not picked up by the usual test as they’d recovered. Antibody tests, as performed elsewhere since, have shown evidence of previous infection in many more, and beyond that, cellular response to the agent leaves no biochemical mark that I’m aware of, so it could be even higher still.

    Reply
    1. KJE

      But are the antibody tests any more reliable than the rt PCR test? If the test really can give a positive result to a goat etc as in Tanzania a) are we testing for the right thing b) are the test kits reliable? c) is the test reliable? If we don’t really know what we are testing for (as it seems) how do we know that the antibodies we are find are relevant to this disease?

      Reply
  3. Pierre Robson

    Illuminating, and worrying. As I was reading, I began to ruminate on who Ferguson knew in government circles. I get a whiff of Dominic Cummings in here – is there any evidence of an association between these two people??

    Reply
    1. Marlene E JENKIN

      NF is also Acting Director of the Vaccine Impact Modelling Consortium. So not exactly unemployed after stepping down to spend more time with his lady friend !! His Dept. has also been funded to the tune of millions by a certain American Guy since 2006 – 185 million I have read ! Dominic Raab mentioned – in one of the UK 5 pm presentations ? – that there was to be a Global Vaccine Conference to be held in the UK in June – planned long before the pandemic. The UK government has also ploughed billions into GAVI whilst the poor got poorer and the NHS struggled … and all those on minimum wage battled at the coal face. Isn’t it time the correct questions were asked – and transparency demanded. More and more articles now appearing that confirms that the virus has a protein spike that cannot have mutated so ,…..

      So grateful to Dr K for having the strength to help us unravel this mess !

      NB – for Dr K – still no T3 being freely prescribed in the UK and certainly none in Devon where I now live having moved from Crete ! 🙂

      Reply
      1. janecnorman

        Who would pay the salaries of all these scientists if there was any transparency? Searching for an Aids vaccine has kept a lot of people in gainful employment for thirty years. The same will probably go for any vaccine against a mutating virus like coronavirus. Who would want to be a farmer and grow healthy food rather than a scientist with a PhD who can get to go to conferences?

        Reply
    2. Terry Wright

      It goes back a long way Pierre; the IC unit was formed by a Roy Anderson; who had been at IC till he went to Oxford in 1992? … He was forced to resign in about 1999; he had made false allegations against a lady there; and was “blackballed” out of Oxford; he already seemed to have extensive “govt” contacts then; he then returned to IC to drum up his unit; and the FMD arrived a year or so later; and with fast footwork, Anderson elbowed his way in and got the modelling contract that dominated the needless slaughter of healthy animals; he got a knighthood out of that: well done indeed! You will find he is now on the board of Gates foundation; aged 73 with presumably extensive contacts; as well as being on GSK board so one assumes is very active in the background; some mad modellers like Ferguson, using 15yr old codes and “chaps who know chaps that chaps can trust …….”

      Reply
  4. Ian Hayward

    Population infection of 80%. If my schoolboy memory of calculating percentages still holds true, then using your Iceland test figures, (54,000 tested, 1,800 infected) the actual Icelandic population infection rate (1,800/54000 x 100) is 3.33%. That makes Ferguson’s 80% not only extraordinarily high, but utterly preposterous.

    Reply
    1. Janet Love

      Ian, not “…utterly preposterous…” ‘Bollocks’ is shrter and easier to say… after a few French Reds.

      Reply
  5. undine2006

    Hooray! You’ve seen it for the corrupt scheme it is: driven by political power play and greed. Please take time to look at this:

    BARDA whistleblower links to the Health Mafia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMm2XkbWfKg&t=38s

    This brilliant journalist has dug up all the info leading to the PLANdemic – Event 201; Gates vax ID2020 etc.

    The Gates Foundations is now the principal funder of the WHO, which is led by a Marxist terrorist from Ethiopia with NO medical or science training, complete puppet. Their pandemic projections were out by a factor of 10!

    Italian politician calls for Gates to be tried for Crimes Against Humanity: https://greatgameindia.com/italian-politician-demand-bill-gates-arrest-for-crimes-against-humanity/

    WHO accused of trying to bribe the President of Madagascar: https://www.withinnigeria.com/2020/05/16/who-offered-20m-bribe-to-poison-covid-19-cure-madagascar-president-alleges/

    Tanzanian President orders Covid testing kits to be tested: pawpaw, car oil, goats etc come back as positive https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2020-05-03/president-questions-tanzania-coronavirus-kits-after-goat-test

    This was primarily intended to shut down protests (NK, France and in China, mainly Wuhan – hence all the deaths?), crash Trump’s economic recovery, close down his rallies and scupper his re-election. Having broken away from the EU our economy has also been nobbled – we cannot be successful or the rest will want to leave. There is also the matter of the failing Central Banks – a major event was needed since WW3 with Korea was off the menu. There is so much more to this, but this is enough to be going on with.

    Well done for speaking out, more need to do the same. I recommend UK Column News for up to date developments (they have a web page and videos on You Tube, excellent analysis) did you know that on 27th April the Contagious Diseases Act was apparently amended to include forced vaccination? They cover it and more.

    Kind regards, Alina

    On Tue, 19 May 2020 at 09:05, Dr. Malcolm Kendrick wrote:

    > Dr. Malcolm Kendrick posted: “19th May 2020 It appears we went into > lockdown based on the modelling of one man – and his team. Neil Ferguson > from Imperial College London. His workings predicted that, if nothing were > done to prevent the spread of COVID, half a million people would d” >

    Reply
      1. Cheezilla

        Be careful in the supermarket, Stranger. A papaya might leap out and infect you with covid-19.

        Reply
      2. Tom Welsh

        “Utter nonsense. Paranoid conspiracy rubbish”.

        A very strong emoitionally loaded remark.

        Do you by any chance have some evidence to support it? Any at all?

        Reply
        1. thestrangerismeblog

          To be clear you want me to disprove this nonsense? To even entertain this kind of lurid Inforwars-grade bullshit is contemptible. I’ll let the lack of credible evidence do that for me.
          “The Gates Foundations is now the principal funder of the WHO, which is led by a Marxist terrorist from Ethiopia with NO medical or science training, complete puppet. Their pandemic projections were out by a factor of 10!”
          We’ll also ignore the loaded use of the term Marxist. Ever deployed by those who have no understanding of it or Marx’s work.

          Reply
          1. AhNotepad

            thestrangerismeblog, you said it was “paranoid conspiracy rubbish”. The simple question was “do you have any evidence to support it?” Ie, do you have any evidence to support your statement? Simple question, will you answer the question?

          2. mikeezeem

            It’s not up to people who disbelieve conspiracy theorist claptrap to prove it’s not true.
            The onus is on the peddlars of said BS to prove that it IS true

          3. Shaun Clark

            undine2006: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus… Not quite true. And your evidence as otherwise is?

            “WHO, which is led by a Marxist terrorist from Ethiopia with NO medical or science training, complete puppet. Their pandemic projections were out by a factor of 10!”

            In 1986, Tedros received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Asmara.[13] In 1992, Tedros received a Master of Science degree in Immunology of Infectious Diseases from London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine at the University of London.[6][14][8] In 2000, he earned a Doctor of Philosophy in community health from the University of Nottingham for research investigating the effects of dams on the transmission of malaria in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.[15]

            He has held two high-level positions in the government of Ethiopia: Minister of Health from 2005 to 2012[7] and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2012 to 2016.[8][9]

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tedros_Adhanom

          4. KJE

            If he has a government position it’s doubtful that he is a Marxist as he should be hanging out with the proletariat (aka “being part of the rank and file”) and getting them to revolt against said government. As for terrorist I have no idea – one man’s freedom fighters are another man’s terrorists.

          5. Shaun Clark

            thestrangerismeblog: Oberleutnant AhN demands an answer. You must obey! “Simple question, you will answer the question”. Or, he will conspire against you! Sich denken?

          6. AhNotepad

            I suppose you find mild amusement in veiled personal attacks. A balanced opinion.

          7. Shaun Clark

            barovsky: Ha, ha! They are always tight with those with money and wasta. Its kinda sad, but such can buy/sort anything they wish/believe. It always could. Mostly, it’s just another form of bullying/cowardness, and I loath bullyboys and yellowjackets… In any form. Complicit folk more often just humbly acquiesce. They fawn and fall over themselves for the sanctuary they think they are getting. It’s kinda pathetic. Anyway, I’ve made it my life’s work to expose them. In all their pathetic forms. I think I’m doing OK. It gets me out of bed in the mornings.

        2. Tony Barry

          Good article and I agree Ferguson’s figures were way out. However when you divided by 2 at the end to take into account asymptomatic cases, this was in error. Asymptomatic cases would still test positive and the IFR rate from Iceland would have included asymptomatic cases, so no need to divide by 2.

          Reply
      3. Gary Ogden

        thestrangerismyblog: You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but what in that presentation is not factually correct, is undocumented? Her opinions you may call rubbish, and I have no quarrel with that, but naming the names and roles of the people involved in this madness, and their roles in such, is news. It is information, and she provides documentation from the organizations for whom they work.

        Reply
  6. rcbword

    Models change their prediction according to the available data. In the beginning, when the Ferguson model was made available, there was little data. Their focus was on worst case scenarios and protecting ICUs. Now there is much more data, and models (there are many different models) are converging on what will happen. In Australia we paid attention to the model predictions, we locked down, we quarantined overseas arrivals, we tested-traced-isolated. Look at the figures. Don’t blame the modellers. Blame the decision makers.

    Reply
    1. John Dawe

      I think from memory, Young ‘Neil’s’ Modelling dates back to 2001. Not sure ‘Why’, after the ‘Catastrophic’ outcomes of his previous predictions.maybe we could ‘visit’ a few. 2001 Neil Ferguson ‘Model’ advises that Mad cow disease could kill 150,000 people U.K., result = 200 people died & 6,000,000 animals slaughtered/Not sure about ‘After’ economic cost & ‘Suicide Rate human health issues’! Neil again 2005; his ‘Model’ predicts 200,000,000 People could DIE Globally,from Asian Bird Flu – result = Low 100’s DIE! year 2008, Young Neil creates MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis @ Imperial College, financed every year with 10’s of Millions of $s by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Well that’s got to be an ‘improvement’?
      2009 Young Neil’s ‘Modelling’, predicts 65,000 DEAD in the U.K. alone from Swine Flu. Result < 500 Dead. NEIL FERGUSON, come into the 'Big League' – 2019, Yer Man predicts with his 'Modelling' on COVID 19, – 510,000 Dead in the U.K., AND 2.2,000,000 DEAD in the U.S.A.
      Think I'll 'Blame' the Useless PRATTS, 'Dreaming' they run the Countries [Shows how 'Dim Witted' THE Govt 'Organism' really IS], I'll Blame the Useless 'Science/Medical 'Systems' FALSELY taking Monies for 'NON SCIENCE & 'HEALTH' [Sic]PROSTITUTION', I'll 'Blame' the Media for Psychological Terrorism, and I'll 'Blame' a 'Gullible Population', for NOT learning,ANYTHING, TIME AND TIME AGAIN!
      In the words of a 'Adolph Hitler';
      "The receptivity of the Masses is very limited, their intelligence is Small,But their power of Forgetting is Enormous,In consequence of all these facts,ALL propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans, Until the Last member of the Public understands, What you want him to understand by your slogans!"

      Reply
    2. David R

      You are coming out of summer – we are coming out of winter.

      I believe Doc K is pointing out the staggering lack of Due Diligence with regard to the models by our government. It would be just about forgivable if it was some minor policy decision, but when you are about to burn a quarter to a half a £Trillion (you don’t have) it is negligent beyond belief.

      Reply
  7. Linda Ashdown

    Just read this to my mathematician husband, he is shocked that no access to data underpinning Neil Ferguson’s model have been provided, WTF, what are we doing as a country listening to ‘experts’ who won’t give access to their research data!

    Thanks for drawing our attention to this. A major review of our handling of this pandemic is vital at the end of this.

    Best regards

    Linda Ashdown

    Sent from my iPad

    Reply
    1. David R

      Linda I totally agree – but in the field of Climate, we have scientists not only not releasing data, on which their projections are based, but fighting Freedom of Information applications in the courts.

      I think the ICL model was 15,000 lines of code – I believe some climate Model have a Million lines or more.

      Reply
  8. Nigella P

    Excellent analysis of the madness.

    Ah “The Science”! I have been boring all those who will listen to me with the question as to what new religion “The Science” represents, as it appears to be used in a faith based way. Do not question “The Science” as it must be right. We shall hide our distinctly flawed and fallible decision making behind “The Science” for it must be right. We shall decide the futures of millions of people and the deaths of thousands guided by “The Science”. If you replace “The Science” with God / Allah / Mohammed then you can see what I mean.

    Reply
    1. Binra (@onemindinmany)

      Yes but it isn’t the named which is called on so much as it being called on to serve the vanity of a special self interest putting itself above all else and locked into narrative assertions or dogma that are used to mask over and deny freedom of communication.
      The pattern of mind is distinct from the forms that it masks in.

      Reply
  9. Jean Humphreys

    Thanks indeed! You know that reading stuff like this does terrible things to my blood pressure! Ah well, if you can say “k’nell” I can say “whatevs”

    Reply
      1. Tom Welsh

        Previously my biggest success was with “totes amazeballs”, which had them running to the loo to throw up.

        😎

        Reply
  10. Mr Chris

    Malcolm
    Very cogent.
    What I find fascinating is why was Ferguson the man to believe, since his track record is not great, mad cows foot and mouth etc?

    Reply
    1. Marlene E JENKIN

      Yes removed by DEFRA towards the end of the Foot and Mouth outbreak and then awarded an OBE – my heart sinks …. around 187 million animals culled without reason. Is he vegetarian ?

      Reply
    2. John Dawe

      Unfortunately, it was NEVER about ‘THE’ disease. It’s hard to ‘Accept’ Tyrranical ‘Stratagems’, unless you are Perpetually in fear of your ‘safety’, AND, these ‘Solutions’ to your fear, are ‘Presented’ to you as YOUR ‘safeguard’, by the ‘Entities’ who initiated the ‘Problem’ It’s strategically, The frog in the Pot. Most people still believe THE SYSTEM, is there for, THEM!
      Game,Set,Match. THE Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ‘Fund’,= Yer Man Neil Ferguson, along with a raft of Pharma Corporations, Bio Military Tech Systems, United Nations W.H.O[Single largest sponsor after U.S Govt ‘Pulled Funds’] GAVI [Massive vaccination failures on 3 Continents, including 10 Year ‘Association with U.N.on ‘Inbuilt’ sterilisation chemicals – admitted to under duress by U.N.], Joint operations with Rockerfeller Foundation/Big Pharma GSK,World Bank & DARPA,, BMGA wants total Global Vaccination[ Using similar ‘Operation’ ‘Dark Winter’ as ‘excuse’],5G ‘Tracking – ID2020′[5G @ 60GHtz ‘interferes with O2 transpiration in Humans’ – see ‘apparant COV 19’ patients, struggling wit ‘Altitude sickness symptoms], ‘Dropping Global populations[with United Nations ‘Help’ Agendas 21 – 2030],Geo Engineering Planet & GMO Big Agri. So few fingers, SO MANY pies.
      Be Well.

      Reply
    3. Tom Welsh

      Actually his track record was so horribly, abysmally terrible that one feels it must somehow have been why he was chosen.

      Although perhaps he was the only person anyone in government knew personally who was licensed to purvey “The Science”.

      Obviously they are far too important to know any real scientists – who are mainly poor and spend their time doing boring scientific work.

      Reply
    4. Mark

      Why is his recent record so criticised?
      For chugging off for a break during the lockdown? (Something lets be honest most of the politicians and royal family seem to have done…)

      The man predicted at least 20,000 deaths with a complete lockdown, we did a partial lockdown (and seeded the care homes, completely against all advice – killing another 12,000) and total UK deaths are by any realistic estimate is 50,000+

      Give the death rates we were seeing just prior to and after the lockdown were 1,000+ dead per day, and its now pretty clear this virus had way more uninfected patients left to infect (5-10% of the population has shown up in any decent serological studies) its clear without a lock-down it would have been far, far worse (he estimated 250-500k). Any of the wild-eye claims of 50% of the population infected are base-less with actual serological data.

      The rest of the UK Govt policy has been a shambles, but that part of the modelling is hard to fault so far…but lets see how US states go that end quarantine early first…(early suggestions are a 1000% rise in cases..)

      Reply
      1. Mr Chris

        Mark
        I wouldn’t describe his modelling on swine flu or foot and mouth as exactly stellar.
        I recently pointed out that two events coming together shot the ground from under his feet, his love life and leaked criticism from a technical point of view of his model, as if the higher echelons realised that he was seen as behind an unpopular policy and had to go.
        I have two remarks to make, epidemiologists find modelling in our Covid world difficult, lack of past data etc so why only rely on one man, with his track record?
        Why bring his private life into it, it has precisely nothing to do with the case?
        In other words I think he was set up.

        Reply
        1. Anna M

          When you’re in a powerful position and you promote lockdown publicly but disobey it privately, engaging in the very behaviors that get people in legal trouble, when it looks like the lockdown is for the people but not the elites (and he’s not the only one) then I do think it is relevant.

          Reply
      2. Colin MacDonald

        Perhaps, but there isn’t any evidence to back up your assertion that lockdown has saved 200,000 lives, indeed whether its made any difference at all. And leaving aside Sweden, what about Georgia? You know that land of banjo players and oppressed coloreds. They finished their two week (too weak?) lockdown on April 28th and have yet to experience a second wave. Indeed, since then, they’ve had a lower death rate than Scotland.
        And if you’re going to bandy about extreme projections about excess mortality how about this? The lives lost from the lockdown measures will be 90 times greater than those saved. But not worry, the lives lost will be in unimportant places like India and Africa

        Reply
          1. barovsky

            Malcolm, as of today, the official death count in SA is 429. I know the demographics are different than here in the UK, in SA only 5% are over 65 for example, whereas here it’s something lke 50% are over 65. Here, it seems the majority of deaths have been in care homes which in itself seems to be grounds for criminal homicide charges being laid against members of the government. We knew almost from the beginning that this novel virus was dangerous to people already sick with a range of illnesses. We knew we should have taken steps to protect both the care workers and those they care for but the govt did NOTHING, until it was too late. I think John Pilger summed it perfectly:

            The British government allowed coronavirus to spread to afflict a population already weakened by austerity. Academic analysis estimated an excess 120,000 deaths due to austerity, along with reduced life expectancy and increased infant mortality. Policies intended to replicate the expensive, dysfunctional but highly profitable US health system would inevitably mean many more preventable deaths. The government’s inaction was entirely consistent and deliberate, guided by profit, not the preservation of life. http://johnpilger.com/articles/why-britain-s-covid-suffering-is-a-crime-against-humanity

            It’s as I’ve said before here, it wasn’t the virus that killed so many but capitalism itself!

        1. AhNotepad

          I think there might be many deaths in places closer to home too. Depression and anxiety caused by the anti-social distancing, many jobs disappearing, food supplies disrupted next winter, and I wonder how much else.

          Reply
          1. Anna M

            Also, I’m hearing horrific things about schools truly becoming like prisons in order to reopen – no recess, no cafeteria, prescribed walking directions and kids in masks!
            It is uncomfortable to breathe in a mask and I am afraid it will reduce oxygen levels. Long term, could be detrimental.
            Definitely child abuse.

          2. AhNotepad

            Anna M, what a suggestion, that masks could do anything but good. Except there has been a study, http://scielo.isciii.es/pdf/neuro/v19n2/3.pdfhttp://scielo.isciii.es/pdf/neuro/v19n2/3.pdf and politicians and those in favour of masks might like to read it. It must be a spoof document as the authors all seem to have non-English sounding names.

            To get over the mask problem, I have thought of the solution. Quite low purchase costs from the pet stores. Insert pegs in the ground 6m apart, then provide a tether just short of 2m (a dog lead, non-extending) less a bit more than an outstretched arm length. Tether the children to the pegs, then they will have no worries about getting too near other people. Hazmat suits can be worn by staff to release the children as appropriate. This is purely for protection you understand as we must flatten the enthus…. sorry, the curve. The children will soon get used to the idea that everyone is a threat to their very existence.

            I heard this morning that for a school bus to comply, a seventy seater coach will be able to take no more than 10 children. So where one coach would be used, there will be six more drivers jobs created. (Hurrah!) The queues waiting to drop children at schools will be easily managed, and it should take no longer than an hour to unload the equivalent of one old coach.
            With maybe 4 to 5 monitors to police the exercise. They can walk through a fumigation chamber to decontaminate them. I must write to Boris just incase he hasn’t read this.

          3. teedee126

            AhNotepad: your “solutions” to the school problems going forward gave me my first good chuckle of the day, so thanks for that 🙂

          4. AhNotepad

            As for the fear of infection from distance, masks, gloves or anything else, noted in Ivor Cummings interview, if it was that bad, the till operators in supermarkets would be getting sick. They are facing people for hours a day, some don’t wear any PPE, and they are not getting I’ll.

          5. chris c

            A supermarket worker in Scotland pointed out there had been no cases among their staff. I asked here and there was one (alleged, not tested) case among a couple of dozen customer-facing staff, and none in the other shops and farm shops I’ve used.

            I hate to say it but some of the young girls working in the supermarket are heffalumps. They obviously eat low fat diets to get to that size. Sad.

  11. Fergl100

    But, even if the modelling is wrong wouldn’t we still have had to have lockdown, otherwise the fatality rate would still be over 1000 a day?

    Reply
    1. Sharon

      Deaths in the U.K. peaked on April 8th. With 3 weeks (or 23 days depending on whose data you use) on average between infection and death, that gives an infection peak of 16th-18th March. We would have seen this infection peak and subsequent fall off if we had better testing capacity at the time. Lockdown began on 23rd March – 5 to 7 days after the peak.

      Why did infections peak before lockdown? You could argue it was due to social distancing, hand washing and cancelling mass events. Or you could argue it’s the natural lifecycle of a virus which looks exponential to start with but has an ever reducing population of potential hosts so therefore, if highly infectious as covid is, reaches peak relatively quickly. Either argument is valid, and possibly both are valid at the same time. As peak infection (and therefore deaths 3 weeks later) had already been reached, any additional impact made by locking down is almost negligible – except of course for the enormous economic impact and the excess deaths from suicide, poverty related diseases, future NHS funding issues and those currently too scared to go to A&E or having appointments cancelled on them.

      Reply
      1. liz3321

        My relatives started working from home 2 weeks before the lockdown as did their whole workplaces and many others, and as my daughter put it in an e-mail on the 16th March “activities are dropping away one by one. Which is bad news for us but good for preventing the spread. Even if the gov aren’t actually shutting the things down that they’re telling us not to go to….” I also stopped mixing in general 2 weeks before lockdown. Must be at least part of the reason for the rate of increase of deaths starting to slow. And yes indeed, we needed testing and tracing to be much much better.

        Reply
        1. KJE

          But how will you live with no job and no income? Just have a thought for those people who have had their livelihoods and businesses destroyed, who aren’t eligible for 80% wages through furlough or even 80% of average profits over 3 years (profits, notice, not turnover, so they still have to pay all their outgoings from this) or Universal Credit because they have some savings or a small pension. Is life really worth living with no social interaction and no job? Just so some “higher-up” can pat themselves on the back because they can control the plebs through panic and fear. What are you afraid of? “The Science” shows that really this virus is nothing to be scared of. I’m scared of losing my home and possessions through debt. I could have gone on working if the media hadn’t scared all my clients away.

          Reply
          1. Harry de Boer

            Rumors have it that you will get welfare… as soon as you get vaccinated.
            It looks like the goal is to vaccinate all 7.7 billion people here on earth in order to remove any possible control group against any damage can be attributed to the vaccine.
            So if you complain about adverse side effects “There simply isn’t any scientific evidence for your claim.”

          2. AhNotepad

            Vaccinating everyone maybe their perceived intention, but there will be a fair few that will tell them to 🤬off. That probably includes all the idiots that have been running the recent show.

  12. David Lonsdale

    Wasn’t this gentleman’s track record already blemished by previous modelling on some agricultural diseases that proved disastrous for some farmers and associated industries?

    Reply
    1. Cheezilla

      Yes. His previous hyperbolic predictions caused a lot of small farmers to go out of business and be bought up by Big Ag, with consequent destruction of biodiversity.

      Reply
    2. James DownUnder

      YES. Foot & Mouth Disease. (livestock) in 2001.
      Estimates range from 6 to 10 million slaughtered as a precaution. Around 2 to 3 thousand confirmed infections.

      Reply
      1. shirley3349

        Why are the 2001 UK foot and mouth disease figures so vague? Surely each animal slaughtered had to be documented, in triplicate at least, in order to get compensation from the government.

        Reply
  13. Jeremy May

    You have written some great blogs. The economic persepective for example or about vitamins or care homes. You’ve really made me think.
    This one however is just reactive and appears to be one of a long line of snipes about what people have done wrong.
    I’m basically pretty dim in addition to being non-medical or scientific but even I can usually point out problems, there’s nothing clever in that. It’s solving those problems where I get stuck. I want to hug my grandkids like thousands of other oldies and I know there is no magic bullet but thickies like me would like to hear bright people suggesting ways forward. I realize that we have to look back to learn but I wish there wasn’t silence after reading about the mistakes.

    Reply
    1. Cheezilla

      Jeremy, we’re under virtual house arrest in what is no longer a democracy. So what are we supposed to do? We must start by pointing out the flaws in the policy because the more people hear about them, the more questions will be asked and the more quickly the policy can be remedied. I miss my grandchildren too!

      Reply
    2. AhNotepad

      Jeremy May, I doi hug my grandkids. Why not? The idea we are going to transmit or receive a disease is ridiculous. The way froward is to just get on with doing what we used to do. The risk of diseases to healthy people is tiny, or we would all have died out long ago.

      Reply
    3. fairweather

      @Jeremy May, I sympathise with your view in these difficult circumstances, but I would also say that the people who are able to detect a problem and point to where it lies are not obliged to come up with the answer to it before they’re permitted to speak.

      I think Malcolm’s question about Ferguson’s professionalism and his personal influence within central government is valid, especially because his track record is so poor. I live in one of the areas of the UK most badly affected by FMD. When I think about the handling of both human and animal welfare I look back on that period with horror. Central government made a hash of handling that epidemic too, and not all the right lessons were learned afterwards. Ferguson’s legacy is a long one, but for the worst of reasons.

      Reply
    4. Harry de Boer

      @Jeremy May : Actually there is a magic bullet (emphasis on ‘is’): hydroxychloroquine + azithromycin + zinc

      “But it doesn’t work!”
      Yes it does, look at mediterranee-infection.com/covid-19 (sorry for the French) where you can compare the (highly summarized) results for 2 groups of patients with covid-19: one without and one with this treatment cocktail (hcq+)–and here not even the zinc was used.
      You can see that the group without (as of now, May 19, 15:22 GMT) has a size of 4,859 of which 152 didn’t make it and the group with hcq+ is 3,295 large with 17 deceased. So here the untreated case fatality rate = 100% * 152 / 4,859 = 3.13% and for the hcq+ group is 100% * 17 / 3,295 = 0.52%, which is 6 times better.

      “But the horror, hydroxychloroquine is dangerous, watch out for QT prolongation which could lead to TdP (Torsade de Points) and then cardiac arrest!”
      Yeah, it does prolong QT, sometimes, but there is no proof it will lead to TdP. The chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine medication is the world’s most sold medication and under WHO-surveillance never has a death resulted from its prolonged QT.
      And if that’s difficult to believe there is the American Heart Association[1] and the American College of Cardiology Foundation[2] that say it isn’t that dangerous. By the way, if it were so dangerous, wouldn’t the hcq+ group have shown much more deaths than the untreated group, instead of much less? And even if some of those 17 who didn’t make it resulted from TdP from QT-prolongation even then the overall results are very promising.

      Remember, they didn’t include Zinc in their treatment protocol. A Dr. Vladimir Zelenko in the state of New York did include Zinc and is reporting a 0% case fatality rate, if treated early in the disease.

      So yes, actually there is a ‘magic bullet’, it’s effective, it’s safe and it’s also very very cheap.
      Did you ever see the Main Stream Media substantiate their claim of how dangerous hydroxychloroquine is with numbers? No. They make you afraid but are not able to quantify the ridiculously small number of fatalities from hydroxychloroquine (zero if you ask me).
      Don’t believe them. There is a cure but we are not allowed to know because someone wants us to buy his vaccine.

      The time it takes to get better from covid-19 with this treatment (incl. Zn) is 4 days.
      Normally, without this treatment, it’s much longer.
      How long was Boris Johnson admitted to the hospital again? 4 days?
      I rest my case.

      [1] https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCEP.120.008662
      [2] https://www.acc.org/latest-in-cardiology/articles/2020/03/27/14/00/ventricular-arrhythmia-risk-due-to-hydroxychloroquine-azithromycin-treatment-for-covid-19

      Reply
      1. Fergl100

        Other studies show no effect. So jury still out. Do you know why they give azithromycin and zinc as well? If there is an effect hiw do you know which reagent caused it?

        Reply
        1. Anna M

          Ferg,

          I don’t believe studies that show “no effect.” Those have to be bogus studies. There are bogus studies!
          My understanding is that HCQ works in whole or in part by utilizing zinc. Perhaps without the supplement a person might become depleted. Safer to make sure the body has all the tools it needs.
          I don’t get the Azithromicin, and I don’t think it should be routinely given. I think it might be to combat bacterial pneumonia that may set in as a secondary infection.
          Also, apparently any danger from the drug only happens when Azithro is added, but even then is very rare.

          Reply
      2. Harry de Boer

        Update on the hcq deaths. I’ve read that the FDA Adverse Effects Reporting System lists a 51 million prescriptions of this drug with 62 deaths. That’s an orders of magnitude lower death rate than covid-19 would cause. So yes, it’s stil very, very safe.

        Reply
        1. teedee126

          Harry, that is a low death rate for 51 million prescriptions, definitely, but someone should tell Trump that he may want to add the azithromycin and zinc to the hcq he’s taking, since some ppl who have been taking hcq for lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. are coming forward and saying, they contracted C-19 despite being on hcq for many years. Apparently, he’s taking it on its own and would likely do better with the combination by the sounds of it..

          Reply
          1. Anna M

            I believe I heard Trump mention zinc and it is sometimes laziness when people speak of HCQ without saying zinc.

          2. teedee126

            Yeah, laziness in speech can be a problem for all of us, but for a world leader, it’s important to mention combining it with zinc every time he mentions taking hcq, since his core base hangs on his every word. Fortunately, he doesn’t mention hcq quite as often as he did in previous weeks since a number of studies have come out questioning its side-effects for some people.

          3. teedee126

            Anglosvizzera, it would be good to see a head to head comparison one day. I can only hazard a guess that the zinc wouldn’t have the same oomph as that of an antiviral in treating C-19, but that’s pure speculation on my part. I’ve only ever heard about hcq working better ‘with’ zinc.
            It’s impossible to keep up with all the thoughts and opinions floating around about hcq, zinc and other treatments being used these days (including the intrigues and little conspiracy theories). It’s like watching a tennis match with all the back and forth going on.
            https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/05/documents-expose-fda-commissioners-interventions-on-behalf-of-trump?utm_source=nl&utm_brand=vf&utm_mailing=VF_CH_Exclusive_052720&utm_medium=email&bxid=5bea10e124c17c6adf1c3800&cndid=43746639&hasha=c69d9b4d413a56238ac27efde15a69a5&hashb=2aa82a0dbdcf409c840796f8b67548d45fed5031&hashc=448385f3d1c49e1c7fd44174aa76d91c9819338579e8fcbcb37624046f70d302&esrc=profile-page&utm_campaign=VF_CH_Exclusive_052720&utm_term=VYF_Cocktail_Hour

          4. anglosvizzera

            Looks like it might be something worth looking into:

            “…zinc-binding proteins such as the metallothioneins may possess antiviral roles, although their specific function remains uncertain. Nonetheless, zinc treatment applied at a therapeutic dose and in the right form has the potential to drastically improve the clearance of both chronic and acute viral infections, as well as their accompanying pathologies and symptoms.”

            https://academic.oup.com/advances/article/10/4/696/5476413

          5. Gary Ogden

            anglosvizzera: Five or six years ago I heard a lecture by Dr. Prasad describing this important discovery. Real science!

          6. teedee126

            I take a zinc/copper blend that I hope is doing some good. Sometimes, we just have to go with our gut instincts, even if there isn’t enough to convince some people either way. If we wait till everything can be proven by even the best studies, we may be dead long before that happens 😉

  14. Jan

    K’inell indeed! Absolute travesty and tragedy. Too heartbreaking to contemplate. Surely there must be scientists in positions to be listened to? But then the right people so often don’t want to hear as your blog proves time and time again. What can be done?

    Reply
  15. Jillm

    Thank you Dr Kendrick. I don’t remember Paul the Octopus but I do remember Chicken Little. Australia’s population is about 25 million. Today we recorded death number 100, a 93 year old. The Australian Government Department of Health, Information for Clinicians states: PCR tests cannot distinguish between “live” virus and non-infective RNA.

    Reply
    1. James DownUnder

      …and we should never forget that Taiwan didn’t have a savage lockdown / self destruction of National economy & Budget…. and look how TERRIBLY they suffered !!!
      (Tongue embedded in cheek)

      Shamelessly lifted from Wiki.. “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a much smaller impact in Taiwan than in most industrialised countries, with seven deaths total as of 11 May 2020.[5][6][7] The number of active cases peaked on 6 April at 307 cases, the majority of which are imported…”

      Maybe this is ‘why’… – and not having the Esteemed Scientific Services of Mr Ferguson and his minions…

      https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Why-Taiwan-s-COVID-19-death-rate-is-shockingly-low-15130341.php

      Reply
      1. liz3321

        All the countries that have had low numbers followed WHO advice on testing, tracing, tracking and quarantining. Like South Korea and Iceland.

        Reply
  16. Ria Lloyd

    I agree that scientist should show how they derived at their prediction. But this virus is not behaving like other viruses. Nor is it behaving the same all over the world ( Iceland found many different strains) nor even within a country to different ethnic groups. Only time will tell which strategy worked best. Total lockdown, limited lockdown or no lock down. It can be argued that those with total lockdown (more severe than ours) risk many more further out breaks than those with little or no lockdown as the latter will have had many more people infected the first time round. This depends though on people have some immunity after having had the virus. So many variables which change the more we learn about the virus, so it’s no surprise that scientists change their prediction.

    Reply
  17. Ian Partington

    Dr. Malcolm for President, I say! Common sense ain’t that common, but Dr. K. has it in spades. Please share this razor sharp article, everyone.

    Reply
  18. Mike valmas

    What do you make of this.We are in lockdown because of one man who won’t release the data underpinning his model.His predictions change like the seasons.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Reply
  19. Mike Stephens

    I think the real question that everyone is afraid to ask is, “What is a Chinese Burn?” Here in the US we have an “Indian Burn” which is:
    In·di·an burn
    noun INFORMAL
    an act of placing both hands on a person’s arm and then twisting it with a wringing motion to produce a burning sensation.
    Is a Chinese burn similar? What is “The Science” behind that?

    Reply
  20. M Callender

    Once again you have got to the heart of the question. So many people querying the model but no data to back it up. I keep asking myself what is it about Prof Ferguson and his mad modelling that the government is so in thrall to. Let’s face it his track record doesn’t cover him in glory does it.
    You and Karol Sekora have been two voices of reason throughout this farce. Keep it up. The picture of The Science and Boris at Number 10 having a cuppa and some jammy dodgers will make me smile for the rest of the day.

    Reply
  21. stevehayes13

    What I find impossible to understand is how any scientifically literate person could think that the outcome of a computer model is scientific evidence. The outcome is the mathematically inevitable result of the assumptions.

    Reply
    1. Tom Welsh

      Precisely, Steve! As John Maynard Keynes observed nearly a century ago,

      “To convert a model into a quantitative formula is to destroy its usefulness as an instrument of thought”.

      For those who haven’t heard of him, or who associate his name with the weird “neo-Keynesianism” that has nothing to do with his ideas… Keynes was a very great economist and one of the Bloomsbury Group. Bertrand Russell, perhaps Britain’s greatest philosopher and mathematician, admitted that Keynes was so clever that he (Russell) sometimes felt quite overawed by him.

      Models are very useful tools for exploring systems. If you automate a model by implementing it in software and running it on a computer, you can make it much more complex and still get results in a reasonable time.

      When you see the results, you examine them and find out (if possible) how and why the model has produced them. That gives you better insight into how the system under study works. Then you can fiddle with the parameters, add new ones, or remove old ones.

      But it is very rarely safe to trust the outputs of any model unconditionally. (As the UK government has done with Ferguson’s model). You could only really trust the output if you thoroughly understand everything about how the model and all its intermediate stages.

      In which case you could just work out the results yourself – in a case like this, as Dr Kendrick says, on the back of an envelope or suchlike.

      Reply
  22. Eric

    Why use one model for two different types of outbreaks? The outbreak in the institutions is very different from the outbreak in the community. Different susceptibilities, different total number of people, different case rate, death rate, yet the talk is only about the “country” or “province” level. The data is mixed together making the community outbreak look worse and the institution outbreak look less bad than they really are. If they had been treated separately or are treated separately going forward, maybe better decisions could have been/could be made for each.

    Reply
  23. Charlie

    Plus you have all the unintended consequences of using the wrong models without considering all other possible damages.
    Like:
    Millions predicted to develop tuberculosis as result of Covid-19 lockdown
    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/may/06/millions-develop-tuberculosis-tb-covid-19-lockdown

    THE POTENTIAL IMPACT OF THE COVID-19 RESPONSE ON TUBERCULOSIS IN HIGH-BURDEN COUNTRIES: A MODELLING ANALYSIS

    Click to access Modeling%20Report_1%20May%202020_FINAL.pdf

    Maybe not all dead from Covid-19 are from the virus.
    https://knowledgeofhealth.com/how-centers-for-disease-control-could-prolong-lockdown/

    Reply
  24. Göran Sjöberg

    Early in my research career (in the 1970th) as a metallurgist I was one of the first to be carried away by the “power” of PC modeling in our “research reality”. The power impressed not only on myself but not least on my surroundings.

    However, with time, I got more and more alarmed when I saw the results produced by my Ph.D students and tried with all means to stop their obvious abuse of the “convenient” PC-modeling but found that it was almost impossible to halt this “tsunami” and to bring the students back to the hard work and facts from pure “clinical testing” of my own material science.

    So we are evidently living today in a world of delusion not only in the medical field medicin to my understanding.

    Reply
  25. Sue Richardson

    You have just said there, what quite a lot of us think. What is it going to take to get people to accept that The Science our governments are trusting so absolutely, seems to be a bunch of men saying ‘let’s try this and see where it goes’. How the dickens did they get to be so powerful? Still, they can be tripped up suddenly as Mr Ferguson has been by something almost trivial. I imagine his views are being questioned now. Let’s hope the others get tripped up too, so that people will begin to question them.

    Reply
  26. Andrea Rudge

    Hello Dr. Kendrick,

    Re your comments about the USA, wouldn’t the fact that the UK is far more densely populated have an impact on your extrapolation?

    Kind regards,

    Andrea (an accountant, not in any way knowledgeable about these things!)

    Reply
    1. Terry Wright

      thanks Andrea: these respiratory viruses that surface in northern European climes each year are all profoundly seasonal; late winter they surface briefly and manifest; they then hibernate over our summer; nobody seems to reflect where they hide out over our summers.

      Live in poor air quality; (eg Milan/Lombardy in winter… London .. New York …); your Vit D levels plummet more than most: Vit D seems central to keeping respiratory viruses at bay: eg parainfluenza, influenza, adenoviruses, respiratory synctial virus (RSV), and the big happy family of coronaviruses.

      These are all the same and all are profoundly seasonal;

      (the tropics get their share in the wet season: clue: ……lot of endless,thick, black clouds ..)
      best wishes

      Reply
  27. Simon Nicholls

    An IFR includes asymptomatic cases, so you can’t apply a 0.5 factor in applying the 0.55% IFR to the UK so your estimate need to be 293,600 to start with…

    Using pillar 1 hospital tests numbers the current UK hospital mortality rate is 33k/175k = 19%. This figure would imply that to have yielded 293k deaths we would see 1.5m trying to go to hospital to use 33k beds and 10k ventilators over a few weeks. This would have seen the majority fail to receive any treatment, a 1/3 of whom at least need oxygen.

    Just doubling that mortality rate you get to 586k deaths… this is all Ferguson’s model includes that your envelope does not. Failing to consider this as a doctor is a little remiss…

    Read more here…
    View at Medium.com

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      An IFR is the infection fatality rate. Are you suggesting that IFR includes asymptomatic cases? It is an interesting asymptomatic case that can kill someone. That, to me, is the number one symptom of any disease

      Reply
      1. Simon Nicholls

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Case_fatality_rate

        The term infection fatality rate (IFR) also applies to infectious disease outbreaks, and represents the proportion of deaths among all the infected individuals. It is closely related to the CFR, but attempts to additionally account for all asymptomatic and undiagnosed infections.

        I’m not, its definition is, and the prevalence of symptom is analogue, not digital.

        Iceland tested people, and found infections with no symptoms. Like the Diamond Princess where they found 30% of people with the virus asymptomatically. Blanket testing will include these. So despite what “feels right” to you, you’re just thinking about it wrong.

        Importantly Iceland used PCR tests not serology. So you’re not even arguing in the piece (as I might do) that people may be infected mildly and not present antibodies leading to serology underestimating IFR. My understanding is a PCR test picks up the virus itself, which is why they have found asymptomatic cases in the all the populations where they’ve used it on to detect active infections. I’ve seen no studies refuting this. Find one and I’ll be interested to see it.

        You make none of these sophisticated observations in your piece, you just get it wrong.

        You also don’t consider the impact a collapse in healthcare provision will have on an IFR. You’re just attacking a man’s reputation with rhetoric and poor maths.

        Reply
      2. kzb

        Yes the IFR includes asymptomatic cases. That is what differentiates it from the CFR.
        In a recent survey found that 5% have had the virus, and the IFR (not CFR) is 1.1 to 1.3%. We in the UK have done a small survey and found 5% in England (17% in London) have antibodies. So the UK IFR is similar to that of Spain. We don’t need a computer model to estimate the final death toll. It will be approx. half a million if no countermeasures are in place to stop it.

        Reply
        1. AhNotepad

          Since we know government figures are highly suspect, what is the quality of this so called “survey” and where is your reference that allows such outrageous forecasts? Similar outrageous forecasts were made by the mad modellers for previous pandemics, when none of today’s draconian denial of rights were enforced, yet not much happened. Certainly nothing like the forecast.

          Reply
        2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

          Sorry, but this is just wrong. The IFR is the Infection Fatality Rate. If you are asymptomatic you cannot die, so you cannot be included in the IFR. I suspect what you mean to say is that the IFR represents the proportion of those infected who die. The IFR figure cannot contain asymptomatic cases as they do not die. I am afraid that science requires the accurate use of language. With regard to your figures, where on earth have they come from. Up to now, virtually no children have been tested and hardly anyone under the age of forty. We know many millions must have been infected so far, yet there have been (depending on which figures you read) less than ten deaths in the under twenties. Last time I looked it was nine (six of whom had serious underlying conditions). Once we start checking the younger population the IFR will fall, and fall, as it must. Have you taken this into account? [Who are ‘we’ anyway?]

          Reply
          1. biaceart

            The true IFR does include asymptomatic cases. They are still infected. Just because you can’t die doesn’t mean you’re not in the rate. Think about it!

          2. teedee126

            biaceart, do you really think that those who are infected, yet asymptomatic, should be part of the IFR? The keyword here is *Fatality*. They aren’t going to die from C-19, so why should they be included in a *fatality rate?*

          3. KJE

            Makes no sense to me – no symptoms, no fatality (probably no disease either, unlike pawpaws, goats and motor oil…) and probably not tested, so why would such non-cases be included in IFR?

          4. Simon Nicholls

            1) You’re at odds with the rest of the medical world, read this…
            https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.11.20098780v1
            2) It is an INFECTION fatality rate – i.e. total deaths / total infections – there is no bigger measure that might include asymptomatic. The CFR is for recorded cases. So Iceland’s is technically a CFR, but they have tested so widely it has come in to line with IFR measured from serology.
            3) Most symptomatic cases are equally infected and won’t die either? Why different?
            4) It is entirely possible to die of something without experiencing any symptoms.
            5) PCR tests and serology measure cases that were asymptomatic. See link, about 20%…
            https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-05-team-covid-infection-fatality.html
            6) I entirely agree science does require accurate use of language.
            7) An IFR is alway calculated in an age adjusted way, here are the IFRs from the study in Italy
            0-39 0.007%
            40-49 0.030%
            50-59 0.140%
            60-69 0.570%
            70-79 2.290%
            80-89 5.940%
            90+ 12.900%
            8) To week 19 there have been these many labelled deaths…
            0-14 2
            15-44 382
            45-64 4,580
            65-74 6,854
            75-84 15,501
            85+ 13,199
            … 33k in total, but, there are 16k further unexplained.

            So for the 382 deaths in the 15-44 it implies a 14.31% spread (3.6m) infected in this group in the UK given 213 deaths were in the 0-39 bracket and 169 in the 40-49 bracket.

            … also, there is post from a few days ago still awaiting moderation?

          5. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

            I do know exactly what an IFR is. However, there is a need for accuracy in scientific language. Those who are infected, who die, make up one of the two numbers used to calculate the IFR. However, they do not make up the IFR. Fatalities make up the numerator of an equation requiring two parts. Those dead/those infected (D/I). I was objecting to the inaccurate language being used.

          6. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

            In reply to your last comment. Weirdly, if I click on a link embedded in anyone’s reply, it takes me to that link but re-sets my post approvals back to pending. I just did it again, and lost four of my own responses at the same time.

          7. Biaceart

            I can only reply here. The fatality rate means the percentage of all cases that die. All cases include those who die and those who don’t die. Dr.Kendrick is wrong in this case. If you are asymptomatic but are infected you MUST be included and of course the degree of testing seriously affects this figure.. What he is stipulating is in fact the symptomatic infected fatality rate. This is why the IFR is something like 0.5% whereas the early fatality rates were of the order of 4-8%. They were the symptomatic fatality rates.
            He should carefully read what he wrote, and correct it.
            I’m a doctor and know this stuff.

          8. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

            I suggest you read carefully what I wrote. I have never, ever, advocated the CFR as a guide. As a doctor, and author of Doctoring Data, I also know my stuff. Those who die are the numerator of an equation. If you don’t die you cannot be included in the numerator. For someone to state that those who are asymptomatic make up the IFR is simply inaccurate. They make up one part of an equation, from which the IFR may be calculated.

          9. kzb

            The IFR is the total deaths divided by the total infected, including asymptomatic cases found by testing. In the Spain and UK surveys I mentioned, the IFR is the fatalities divided by the number in the population who tested positive for antibodies. This includes asymptomatic cases. Both surveys find an IFR exceeding 1%.
            https://english.elpais.com/society/2020-05-14/antibody-study-shows-just-5-of-spaniards-have-contracted-the-coronavirus.html
            UK
            https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-study-says-one-in-six-have-had-covid-19-in-london-one-in-20-across-uk-11992393

          10. AhNotepad

            But they won’t know the total infected, only those that show antibody presence. The immune ones, that never get to the stage of needing to generate antibodies, would be seen as not infected, so the results are unreliable. Maybe this is why young people have few problems. Their immune system just wipes out the virus. This surely makes them a valuable part of herd immunity.

          11. KJE

            And even when tested, some sources are suggesting that not everyone makes antibodies, so were they infected or not? And if blood samples older than the virus (from Holland) test positive for antibodies, we can’t even be sure we are testing for the right antibodies (or even the right virus – although I read somewhere that someone had infected some monkeys successfully). Really, we have no accurate way of knowing how many infected.

    2. Tish

      Too pathetic to be worthy of much comment. Are you people devoid of consciences? You are trying to insult a man who does more good in the field of medicine than anyone else I know. Shame on you and check your ignorance before you pen it. The fact that you feel the need to write in such a way shows that you feel threatened because this whole farce is built on such shaky ground. Oh, and grow up, eh?

      Reply
        1. Simon Nicholls

          You’re attacking my defence of Ferguson from Kendrick’s “character assassination” piece by questioning my conscience? Interesting…

          I don’t feel threatened, and I’m happy to take the charge of my piece’s title being juvenile, but I just found the rhyme amusing, and a snappy title helps get a piece read…

          If perhaps Kendrick had been more data and facts driven, rather than contrarian narrative driven, I wouldn’t have felt I needed to defend him. I don’t know Ferguson, or work in his field, but I do use the same techniques in what I do. If you actually read his paper he predicted 48k deaths in this scenario, not 550k, as I point out in this piece…
          View at Medium.com

          Happy to see any take down of his many other failings… he is certainly reviewed to not be a coder of the quality to be hired by Google, and he’s certainly a pillock for the way he broke his own rules, but it does not make his maths wrong… and Kendrick certainly does not have the right to question that through poor analysis and misquote.

          Reply
          1. Harry de Boer

            There were 3 previous cases in which Ferguson was completely wrong and where his outcomes caused innumerable suffering and expenses. I think there’s not much more ‘reputation’ left to be attacked, to be honest. Just a mercenary for Gates for hire.
            Not releasing his data didn’t help much either.

          2. Terry Wright

            have a watch of this Simon

            The Fergoid, as he is affectionally referred to here by his many admirers, has “form” that goes back a long way.

      1. ShirleyKate

        I think Simon Nicholls is grown up. He does not insult Doctor Kendrick, he just states his case, which you do not agree with. Check his ignorance? Is it ignorance or a valid opinion from an intelligent person? I have no expertise so I do not try to judge, but maybe you have expertise in this field and can argue or refute his points – in a polite and rational way?

        Reply
        1. Tish

          Shirley, how are you defining intelligence? My university education and qualification covered statistics, anatomy, physiology, neurology, psychology, linguistics, child development, phonetics…but I don’t think memorising facts and being qualified shows intelligence. Intelligence is being able to see the wider picture. It is being able to look sideways out of your little speciality and embrace what you find and relate it to your own field. It is ignorant not to do this. This inability has caused the mess we now find ourselves in. Many people are looking too narrowly at their own little worlds and doing it with self-importance and self-interest. The greater good is ignored when those with vested interests are supported.

          Reply
          1. Tish

            P.S. My initial remarks were made after Nicholls’ first comment and clicking on its picture link which doesn’t always function. Perhaps it failed to work for you. The contents are not as polite and measured as his address to Malcolm.

          2. Simon Nicholls

            I agree my tone in the article is as dismissive of Kendrick and he was of Ferguson, it was a conscious choice because I felt that Kendrick without knowing Ferguson had made a free “choice” to follow the wider “lynching” style of most Ferguson commentators showing no respect for his reputation. The entire premise of his article that you might be able to encapsulate the sum of all his work in a quick “fag-packet” calc is denigrating.

            Kendrick chose to extend the slight the wider modelling community (of which I’m a member), so I slightly felt like “the gloves were off”.

            You are right, the tone is as equally childish as Kendrick’s, but assure you the factual content is spot on.

      2. markheller13

        Please, if you disagree with Simon’s analysis, let us know why. But to attack him just because he has a different view to Dr Kendrick’s is pretty unedifying, and goes against the open-minded thinking and debate that I think most people on here seek.

        Reply
        1. Tish

          Mark: Have you not read his rude attack on Dr K on his first link above? He could have had a polite discussion about the figures. I do understand the reasoning but find it totally irrelevant in this time of crisis. It is a case of arranging deckchairs on a sinking Titanic. Arguing in support of actions which are proving so harmful and thus trying to justify the harm, is wrong, ignorant (hopefully, or otherwise wilful) and insensitive. It results in a distraction, like so many things at the moment, when time is played for to our detriment and censorship is rife.

          Reply
          1. Tish

            If we try to be optimistic and hope that if there is a hidden agenda it is one that might improve the world and human condition, then might we not have been treated as adults and told about it? Could we not have been trusted to discuss and play a part in its transformation? Could not the Government’s air time have been put to better use?

          2. Simon Nicholls

            This is a very good analogy.

            In my view Ferguson is the cabinboy running up saying that the ship is holed below the water line, has convinced the captain and he’s acted, and now the deckhands (Kendrick) that would normally arrange the deck chairs and don’t really understand how bulkheads work are running around openly mocking and poorly questioning the credibility of the cabinboy trying to claim people don’t need to be forming calm patient lines for the lifeboats, but should instead sit back down in the deck chairs and order a G&T… entirely in a time of crisis.

            Do me one favour. Read these two articles…
            View at Medium.com
            View at Medium.com

            … don’t believe the contrarian hype about Sweden, we are not the same, we had 60% more growth in late Feb early March, and this really mattered.

            I’m a sceptic, I think we should be out of lockdown asap, but I would not begin to argue we didn’t need one in late March. I just don’t buy the simple view of the world presented by Kendrick, there is far more nuance.

            Sweden’s economic forecasts are just as bad as those in the UK, but I actually think they have the capacity to be worse, as they are not furloughing businesses trying to protect the economic structure to anywhere near the degree we are, yet they have had 65% reduction in commuter traffic (vs our 80%) and businesses going bust through a drop in footfall.

            Go and look at Swedish healthcare, they’ve suspended treatments, hospital fear exists, and their ICUs are still far more packed with Covid. They will take longer to restore normal services.

            It is vital that commentators show some nuance and begin to accurately distinguish between the consequences of the virus and the consequences of policy.

          3. Mr Chris

            Simon
            The other thing about Sweden is to compare the figures with the neighbouring Nordic countries. They don’t look that brilliant then.
            That’s my three for today.
            By the way the three rule seems to be honoured more in the breach?

          4. markheller13

            Thanks for your reply Tish – I hadn’t read Simon’s article, but have now.

            I do agree that it’s not the politest of responses, but then neither was Malcolm’s original article. To demean and belittle an eminent academic as he did, without a solid understanding of the facts is unacceptable in my view, and less than I would have expected of Doctor Kendrick – who I greatly admire.

            And unless I’ve misunderstood your comment, I completely fail to see how Simon’s arguments, based on facts and analysis, represent ignorance – I would say just the opposite in fact.

          5. AhNotepad

            markheller13, given the social strife ferguson has caused over the decades, I think the epithet “eminent” is inappropriate.

      3. biaceart

        Asymptomatic people ARE infected, so the IFR is the number dead divided by the total number (all diagnosed be they asymptomatic or not) x100 To come up with a realistic IFR you’ve to test a good number of the population to find the asymptomatic ones.

        Reply
      4. Biaceart

        I know they’re not in the numerator. The numerator is those who die. They’re in the denominator which is everyone who’s infected. All dead/all infected(including dead, symptomatic and asymptomatic) x100. This is what you said… “If you are asymptomatic you cannot die, so you cannot be included in the IFR.”
        Had you said you cannot be in the numerator of the IFR it would’ve made sense.

        Reply
  28. John Dawe

    Good Evening All. Well I’m just a Plumber, dealing with Bioz, all the time. studied a few historical Empires & Lads over the years from The Romans ‘Divide & Conquer, thru Sun Tzu ‘art of War’, Young Adolph Hitler [Love him or hate him, The ‘Man’ had a handle on ‘The masses’ & Controlling ‘The Same’]. As far as I am aware, we, in Australia, have as many as 36 Coronaviruses, which make up a large percentage of our ‘Standard’ Yearly Flu, with the ‘Usual’ candidates ‘Up for it’ [Elderly,immune Comprimised, long term drug use [Legal or otherwise], possible exposure to ‘Toxins -air/water/soil Et Al! From several stand points,I find it ‘Difficult’, & from the Noir side[Previous exposure to ‘Religious Systemic’ abuse], entertaining, to;
    A] ‘Statistics’;Australia Every Standard Year Deaths. We’ll use 2019; [Please note; COVID 19 @ < or = to 30 Dead Australians Nationally, we got 'Lockdowns of 'Healthy People,Required Travel restrictions,Documents,Visas,Middle Class Business 'Burnt to the Ground',Quarantines,Sport & Beach closures,Bans on Gatherings [Including ANZAC Day! AND ON AND ON + Corporate Main stream Media Psychological Terror Campaign – STILL GOING! From < 30 DEAD
    Responses per BOTH sides of Government & Corporate Main Stream Media.= CABAL A.
    From Flu ; including 18,000 hospitilisations = 3,000 Dead.
    From Pneumonia = 1,500 Dead
    From AMA Medics [No reflection on all] = 0.0072 of Population = 18,000 Dead
    From Heart & Circulatory Disease = 43,000 + Dead
    From cancer = 144,700 Dead
    From Tobacco related = 21,000 Dead
    From Alcohol related = 6,000 Dead Est.
    From Suicide 63,000 Attempts = 3,040 Dead
    From road Toll = 1182 Dead
    For ALL the above DEAD in a 'Standard Year' of 240,000 Dead Australians, Incl 3,000 Dead from Flu – Generally ZERO RESPONSE, NOR FANFARE, from CABAL GROUP A ? BUT 30 = ??
    Next;
    B]. Now apart from the 'Lock Stepping' & General Formation 'Tangoing' of PRE Purchased Corporate Media & Health [Sic] Systems, Obviously includes CABAL A to THE CORE, I thought, excuse me for being 'Just a Tradie', I thought that THE SYSTEM, including CABAL A, had to actually 'PROVE THE EXISTENCE, OF A NEW 'DISEASE'! NOT, just 'Trot' out some 'Intellectual Drone's 'Hypothesis Percentages'. I've got a much better chance at the 'Bookies'!
    I've asked several Government bodies, per this [I would have thought as a 'Fundamentally Basic', if not 'Prudent & Responsible' Rationale, before 'Burning THE EMPIRE, & Most of your Citizens with it,to the Ground!]= ZERO RESPONSE! Oh dear.
    SO, enter Koch's Postulates, circa mid/late 19 Century. Mentioned this even to Federal Govt., Health Services,& others, including Politicians – Zero Response! 1] How can you 'Organise' [Sic] a Balanced/proportional response, if you have NO 'baseline' to operate off? 2] As with the Medics – Cause NO 'Further Harm'. 3] How easy could Foreign 'Vested Interests' of 'ANY' Nation, Rout an entire Nation on 'Hearsay', WITHOUT BONA FIDE 'EVIDENCE', in this case of 'NEW' Disease? 4] TRUST; How could even a 'Moderate 'Thinking person', EVER, trust Members of The Health System [Along with THE 'Guards', PRE purchased by Big Pharma, as usual – & this is not 'Unfounded',THE Government [BOTH SIDES – Amazes ME, how 'Quickly', Laws have been 'Drafted/ discussed/put thru Crown Law/Debated/Enacted without 'Drama' = All inside 1-2 Weeks? Leads me to think, these were PRE prepared [Convenient per Catastrophe] OR ANY of their Agencies [Especially incorporating THE Military into 'Check points, That's Quasi Martial Law], and 'DEFINATELY', NONE OF CORPORATE OR SOCIAL MEDIA = The 'NEW' Censorship NAZIS! From my Inquiries, COVID 19 = CON JOB 19!!!
    Be Well folks.

    Reply
  29. barovsky

    Well actually, Fergoid’s source code has been seen (I’ll try and dig out the quote) and according to the source, every time the app was run, it came up with a different answer! The source code was cumbersome and amateurish, and so forth. In other words, Fergoid’s coding was useless.

    Re this 16th March ‘publication’ date. Having already read the document the week before, or rather the PR conf and the ‘herd immunity’ fiasco, it was obvious, well to me anyway, that the 16th March publication date was a fiction, as the document was the basis of Witty et al statements!

    The 16th March doc emphasised “suppression” but admitted, kindof, that suppression just put off the inevitable, that whoever was going to get it, would at some point or other, get it! As the good doctor points out, we have no idea who has or will get it or why some (many?) people NEVER get it! For example, about a month ago, I lost my sense of smell and taste for two days, so did I ‘get it’?

    The question has been asked, why the Fergoid? Why the 500,000? SImply, to put the fear of God into people, given as how the country was totally unprepared to deal with it. It was only by grossly exaggerating the number of infections/deaths, that the govt could justify emptying the hospitals of their existing patients (confirmed by Kendrick and others here).

    There may also be other, underlying reasons at work here eg, the coming total crash of the advanced economies, that without a world war as the ‘reset’, the ‘pandemic’ and the global lockdown, is the ‘reset’.

    Reply
    1. markheller13

      Can’t agree with your comment about ‘grossly exaggerating’

      We’ve had 60,000 deaths so far, with c.5-10% of the population infected, so roughly in line with Ferguson’s model prediction of 500k deaths.

      Reply
      1. barovsky

        More dissembling! your much-vaunted 500,000 deaths assumes EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THE COUNTRY, gets infected, which just shows how little you (and the Fergoid) know about how infecticious diseases spread, though the Fergoid did say, 500,000 was his ‘worst’ case. We won’t go into his staggering millions projected to die from SARS, or was it MERS, or maybe it was both. Oh, and the millions of bovines slaughtered on his word.

        Once a relatively small percentage get the disease (I’ve read anywhere between 8-20% of the population), then the ‘chain’ is broken and the epidemic dies out, naturally. It’s one of the reasons why infecticious diseases spread quite differently in different situations, which we’re seeing happen right now.

        We know this from the original outbreak in Wuhan, China, where diseases were concentrated inside (extended?) families. Isolate the infected familiesand you break the chain of transmission. It’s why the first thing they did in China was TEST, TEST, TEST! And they told the world at the same time, because if you don’t test, you don’t know where the damn thing is!

        Reply
        1. markheller13

          The 500,000 deaths is not my figure, I was simply explaining why the UK figures to date support Ferguson’s model, rather than the unreliable Iceland figures used by Dr K to criticise the model.

          As you say, the 500k figure is the worst case scenario based on doing nothing, but it does not assume everyone gets it – it actually assumes 80% of the population get the virus. You can debate this, but it’s based on solid science related to the R number.

          Your understanding of how viruses spread is completely wrong. An epidemic will stop spreading eventually, but the percentage of the population who need to get it before this happens is dependent on how infectious the virus is. With an R figure of 3-4 for COVID-19, we would need 65-80% (i.e. 1-1/R) of the population to catch the virus, for it to stop spreading. However, this would ALSO require that catching the virus provides subsequent immunity for a reasonable period of time, which is not yet fully established.

          I do agree with you that testing is vital, but on top of that you must also have effective tracing and isolating. The UK’s failure to recognise this is one of the main reasons – along with the mistaken belief that we could treat this virus in the same way as flu, and pursue herd immunity – we have seen one of, if not the worst, per capita death rates in the world.

          Reply
        2. Simon Nicholls

          Ferguson’s paper of the 16th of March has many different estimates for different scenarios implementing all the mitigation and suppression measures that they advised, and we followed.

          Click to access Imperial-College-COVID19-NPI-modelling-16-03-2020.pdf


          If you look on page 13: Total Deaths > 2.6 > On Trigger 400 > PC_CI_HQ_SD (code meanings page 6) he was predicting 48k deaths for our current scenario riding the health service up to ICU capacity.

          This whole debate is a total misquote. Has been since the 16th of March. He never thought 500k would happen if we implemented the measures. He never assumed we wouldn’t, he just galvanised SOME action by demonstrating what might happen. Further, as Mark points out there was never any assumption that 100% would be infected. The ceiling for the r0 2.6 scenario I highlight would be 61%.

          As to the level of measure needed. Depends where you are. If you’re less dense like Sweden then a 65% lockdown is enough, for us with 60% more new case growth, we need to go to 80%.

          It is that simple.

          Every country is persuing suppressed ceiling herd immunity. It is a total misthink to assume there are different strategies, and no country is heading to it natural ceiling of about 60-80%, they are all heading to some range of 10-20%. The virus will spread at the rate you let it, when it burns out you’ve hit some ceiling. Sweden is heading to about 10-12% we are heading to about 12-14%. Our 80% stronger lockdown did not give us less spread, we currently have about 40% more than Sweden.

          As to deaths/1m (UK 526) we are still behind Italy 535 (just), Spain 596 and Belgium 793.

          I agree with Mark on testing, except we could only do 2k/day (Germany could do 70k) when this started, and it has taken the private sector to get it from 20k to 150k, and time. As well as not overloading the NHS the lockdown was really about creating a window to build this and 25k of contact tracers so we can actually start a German/SouthKorea style TTT process. Apart from timing the lockdown to maximise ICU utilisation before the brakes were put on to make sure we got to as high a suppressed herd immunity ceiling as we could, I don’t think the plan was ever anything else, they may have thought they could get away with slightly weaker lockdown measures like Sweden, but when they sampled an r0 +60% greater than Sweden in mid March they just realised they had to do more.

          I think we might come to learn that the better furlough scheme in the UK was worth it in terms of limiting structural damage to the economy over Sweden, time will tell, bankrupcy rate data is not quite there yet to be able to tell.

          The thing is to do TTT and try to lift the lockdown more than there is in Sweden means getting new case numbers down and doable by 25k tracers. At our peak we had 70 newcases/day/1m of pop, we now have 21, Sweden still have 51, as a consequence of their looser choice. Reality is they now have less chance of getting TTT to work so we are likely to beat them out of lockdown and recover quicker…

          Reply
          1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

            Thank you for this measured response. I still think the figures for the total number who could have become infected, even if we had done nothing, are ridiculously high. As for comparing figures, this will simply drive you mad. In China the death rate per million is 3. In Australia it is 4. In New Zealand it is 5. In Iceland it is 30. In Greece 16. Everyone holds up Germany as a fabulous example of doing everything right. But their death rate per million is eight times as high as Greece. What can we learn from these figures? I have no idea. Don’t live in Northern, or Western, Europe. Although Portugal 124 per million, Spain 596. Why are Spain and Portugal so different? I can make no sense of the current figures, and would defy anyone else to try.

          2. barovsky

            I offered some possible reasons for the vast differences emerging, elsewhere on this thread. It can only come down to two things, more likely a combination of two things: the external environment and the actual physical state of the people involved and how the two interact. How else do you explain the vast differences in mortality between Black South Africans and Black Americans? I’d posit that in spite (or maybe because of) the high level of poverty in Africa generally, people have better immune systems and perhaps although less of it, healthier food. I’ve lived in 2 southern African countries, Zambia and South Africa and virtually all the food I ate was produced locally and organically. And perhaps the level of pollution we suffer, especially from Glyphosate, which has all kinds of really bad effects on us and the environment, this too would be reflected in the differences.
            What I don’t see, are comparisons in actual infections rather than the number people dying. Surely total per capita infections would give us a clearer idea of what’s going on?

          3. Mr Chris

            Malcolm
            The answer surely lies in giving up trying to make sense of the comparison. I live in Belgium, with one of the so called highest death rates. Note that in the daily statistics, only 23% of those dying in care homes had been tested to know if they were infected. I have no sense of living in a plague infected country. My son lives in Sweden, Nordic comparisons show Sweden as doing badly, he says he doesn’t get that feeling.

  30. barovsky

    PS: Just got this:

    https://stuartbramhall.wordpress.com/2020/05/18/medicine-wheel-researchers-say-cannabis-based-drug-may-provide-resistance-to-sars-cov-2/

    Source – naturalblaze.com

    – “…If their findings are correct, researchers say that cannabis works in a similar way to nicotine. In a study out of the Institut Pasteur in France, researchers led by Jean-Pierre Changeux, a neurobiologist at the university, found the potential of nicotine patches in preventing infections from SARS-CoV-2. The French study assumes that nicotine can protect against the new coronavirus based on the hypothesis “that nicotine attaches to cell receptors (ACE2) used by the coronavirus, thereby preventing the virus from attaching,” explains Changeux”

    Researchers Say Cannabis Based Drug May Provide Resistance to SARS-CoV-2 – By Matt Agorist

    No comment on this one…

    Reply
    1. andy

      Hi barovsky, very interesting research. Apparently some plants have an interferon type compound since they have to struggle with viruses as well. Hope scientists discover that garlic cures covid-19 since I planted 150 cloves. Maybe nettles are good too, I have a patch in my garden.

      Reply
  31. David Pfitzner

    This post is very disappointing. I’m not saying there isn’t anything to criticise in the models, but the criticisms in this post are very weak.

    The original model, with 80% of the population infected, was modelling the scenario in which essentially nothing would be done to control the spread of COVID – everyone would just go on with their life as normal. Which was a reasonable scenario to model, because at the time some people were proposing that policy. Then governments realised that lots of people could die, so they implemented policies such as lockdowns and social distancing. So _of course_ we have not have close to 80% infected now, because as a society we changed our behaviour, so that scenario is no longer applicable.

    So then once we have changed our behaviour (in aggregate), it is appropriate to make a new model which corresponds to the new scenario, and it is not surprising if the new model has a different result than the original model.

    If later we contemplate further changes in behaviour (eg, lifting lockdowns) it is again appropriate to model such new scenarios, and again it is not surprising if the new models have different results than previous models.

    Mocking the models for changing their numbers over time is really missing the point. (Namely, to model different scenarios to inform decisions about which scenario to try to aim for.)

    And yes, some of the numbers that go into the models were uncertain at the time, and some of them are still uncertain (although hopefully becoming better constrained over time as we accumulate more data). But you can’t just suspend decision making until you know everything exactly – you have to do the best you can at the time. So criticising historical models based on more recent data is again missing the point. (Though I would say that a valid criticism of some models is that they do not sufficiently emphasise the uncertainty in the outputs, corresponding to uncertainties in the inputs.)

    BTW, I think the 80% infected number in the original scenario is probably a fairly simple mathematical consequence of the estimated (or guessed) basic reproduction number (“R0”) combined with the effects of “herd immunity”. As an example to keep the numbers easy, consider the scenario where R0 is 2, so that initially each infected person goes on to infect, on average, 2 other people. Once 50% of the population has been infected (and assuming that produces immunity), then at that point the _effective_ reproduction number is down to 1, because for every 2 people (on average) who would have been infected, 1 of them is already immune. So from that point on, the infection rate will slow, and the virus will eventually peter out, with less than 100% infected. (But with more than 50% infected, as some people will still get infected during the decay phase.) A simple model where you can play with basic parameters is available here: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/without-a-vaccine-herd-immunity-wont-save-us/
    Note in such models there is nothing special about the 20% (or whatever the number is) who do not get infected, it is just random chance.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      So, in such models we have a 100% homogeneous population. In that case the model is clearly rubbish. For example, with HIV, those who have the CCR5 delta32 mutation cannot become infected. That is not random chance, that is genetics. Modelling 100% susceptibility to any infectious disease is pure nonsense – right from the start.

      Reply
      1. Simon Nicholls

        If you’re unfamiliar with the maths of epidemiology.

        Herd Immunity Ceiling = 1-(1/r0), e.g. for r0 = 2.9 you get ~65%.

        The principle being, the more immune people that get in the way of transmission the harder it becomes for even the most virulent viruses to propagate, eventually burning out. The 80% was just the upper bound the CMO circulated given Covid was tested to have an r0 of 5 in certain populations.

        Ferguson’s model is not homogeneous, it is very heterogeneous, it models 1000s of different types of people with varying transmission dynamics – i.e. different r0s.

        As to genetic immunity, or non-antibody based immunity. I’d love to find genuine medical evidence of these being the case as it will really help us out of this bind, but you can’t just assume they will be there when forecasting the worst case as Ferguson was clearly doing.

        As soon as any genetic immunity is demonstrated to exists you just need to add this % to the already immune proportion in the population, as these people simply won’t spread the virus just like those that have developed antibodies.

        As to non-antibody based immunity, they still need to be infected and develop immunity, so they are still part of the process of the model. I’ve seen variants of models that allow for varying the length of the infectious phase to deal with transmissions being more or less likely with serious and mild cases respectively. It is not possible to comment on whether Ferguson’s model does this, but I’d imagine he has considered it given the heterogeneity of it.

        The implication with the potential for non-antibody based immunity is that it means serology based IFRs might be underestimating spread. Until there is conclusive evidence that non-antibody based immunity is not possible, we need to view these numbers with a pinch of salt.

        Iceland’s was a PCR based study, so does not have this risk, in fact it actually strengthens the argument that serology is measuring all infections as the IFR is very similar, but with only 10 deaths it is a very small sample, so not conclusive.

        The real question for the rhetoric around this type of immunity is was it related to a low viral load infection? If it is possible to see a second higher viral load infection with the potential for anitbodies or death, as if you had not had it at all, then it is not real.

        BUT, if we can find medical evidence for either great.

        Reply
        1. AhNotepad

          That’s really good. Iceland did enough tests to somehow reduce the death rate. Oops, Kary Mullis said that the PCR test is not suitable for diagnosing a disease. So what benefit was Iceland’s testing?

          Reply
        2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

          So, how does the modelling explain the seasonality of, say, influenza epidemics. See this paper https://virologyj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1743-422X-5-29 Influenza arrives in the winter, and disappears in the spring. Why? It cannot possibly be because we have reached herd immunity ceiling. So, perhaps, there are other factors at play? The simple fact is that we understand very little about what starts, and stops, viral spread in a community. Most importantly, perhaps, who is spreading the infection – and how.

          Reply
          1. Simon Nicholls

            Transmission dynamics are altered by many factors including the weather (UV, etc), but I’d imagine this includes subtle things like meeting people more in “cosy pubs” rather than “the park” where airborn viruses can spread more easily.

            Think about the dynamic effect on the herd immunity ceiling caused by the reality of a shift in natural r0. If the r0 in winter is 2, but in summer it drops to 1.5 due to the factors above, then your winter ceiling is 1-1/2 = 50%, but your summer ceiling is 1-1/1.5 = 33%. So If you are at 35% immunity in the population already, in the summer the virus will burn itself out, in the winter it will return to being 15% short of the ceiling and the infection will resurge.

            You then also have the problem of slow mutation making people susceptible again, but this is a separate effect.

          2. AhNotepad

            Simon, you say there are many factors, then give a simplistic explanation based on virus transmission person to person given summer and winter temperatures, and whether we are outside or not. The problem is no one will ever know where they picked up a particular pathogen, or how their space envelopes coincided so they caught a disease. This makes modelling more of a game to play than a tool to predict the future. If the modelling is good, then modellers can predict the outcomes for many diseases and assume that no behavioural changes will take place. They can do this and then have the results stored without publication, then the next year or the year after, the models can be compared to the actual outcomes. That way the modellers could demonstrate to everyone, and people could then become more confident about the predictions. At present the models are a historical joke, and no amount of indignation in the “modelling community” will persuade people they are anything else.

      2. David Pfitzner

        I don’t know the details of this particular model, in terms of population homogeneity, but in general, as the saying goes, “All models are wrong, but some are useful” (eg, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_models_are_wrong ). That is, any model is an approximation, so it is a cheap shot to identify some aspect of reality that the model does not include, and thereby dismiss the model outright. The question is, would including that detail significantly affect the results of the model? In this case, what percentage of people are genetically incapable of becoming infected by COVID-19? I doubt anyone knows, so if one wanted to know the worst-case scenario (eg, for purposes of planning for health system saturation, say), it would seem reasonable to run models which assume that percentage is zero.

        (Note “incapable of becoming infected by COVID-19” here would be different from becoming infected but being asymptomatic, as the latter case can apparently/potentially still transmit the infection to others.)

        Reply
        1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

          As it turns out, recent research suggests that many people cannot be infected with Covid, due to a powerful T-cell response. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/368/6493/809 Of course, they will not produce any antibodies either, because they did not need to. So, along with asymptomatic people, we also have non-infectable people. Thus, the true figure of how many people have been ‘exposed’ to the virus cannot be known. It does, however, severely damage the possibility that 80% of the population could become infected if we got rid of lock-down. It also makes the IFR redundant. If you cannot get infected, you cannot figure on the IFR in any way. Clearly, we need a new metric. The exposure fatality rate EFR.

          This, unable to get infected, population has actually been known about for many years, going all the way back to 1919. The following is instructive

          ‘However, according to Jordan’s frightening monograph on the 1918 pandemic, there were five attempts to demonstrate sick-to-well influenza transmission in the desperate days following the pandemic and all were “singularly fruitless”. Jordan reports that all five studies failed to support sick-to-well transmission, in spite of having numerous acutely ill influenza patients, in various stages of their illness, carefully cough, spit, and breathe on a combined total of >150 well patients

          Rosenau’s work was the largest of the studies, illustrative of the attempts, and remarkable for the courageousness of the volunteers. In 1919 – in a series of experiments – he and six colleagues at the U.S. Public Health Service attempted to infect 100 “volunteers obtained from the Navy.” He reports all volunteers were “of the most susceptible age,” and none reported influenza symptoms in 1918. That is, “from the most careful histories that we could elicit, they gave no account of a febrile attack of any kind,” during the previous year. The authors then selected influenza donors from patients in a “distinct focus or outbreak of influenza, sometimes an epidemic in a school with 100 cases, from which we would select typical cases, in order to prevent mistakes in diagnosis of influenza.” Rosenau made every attempt to get donors who were early in their illness, “A few of the donors were in the first day of the disease. Others were in the second or third day of the disease.”

          “Then we proceeded to transfer the virus obtained from cases of the disease; that is, we collected the material and mucous secretions of the mouth and nose and bronchi from (19) cases of the disease and transferred this to our volunteers. We always obtained the material in the following way: The patients with fever, in bed, has a large, shallow, traylike arrangement before him or her, and we washed out one nostril with some sterile salt solution, using perhaps 5 c.c., which is allowed to run into this tray; and that nostril is blown vigorously into the tray. That is repeated with the other nostril. The patient then gargles the solution. Next we obtain some bronchial mucous through coughing, and then we swab the mucous surface of each nares and also the mucous membranes of the throat.”

          Then they mixed all the “stuff” together and sprayed 1 cc of the mixture in each of the nostrils of 10 volunteers, and “into the throat, while inspiring, and on the eye” and waited 10 days for the volunteers to fall ill. However, “none of them took sick in any way.” Undaunted, Rosenau conducted another experiment in which ten acutely ill influenza patients coughed directly into the faces of each ten well volunteers. Again, “none of them took sick in any way.”

          The massive problem I have had with the mathematical modelling is that it makes great, sweeping, assumptions. Many of which were already known to be rubbish or, essentially, unproven. Secondary infection with influenza has always been a major complex and puzzling issue. Yet, all questions are swept under the carpet. A gives the infection to B, C and D: B, C and D then spread the infection to E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L. This will always happen, and the entire population is homogeneous. These assumptions are demonstrably untrue. Secondary infection with Covid seems to be less than 10%. Why, how?

          There is almost nothing we can be certain about, yet models are still created. Human physiology is monstrously complex, human/viral interactions are monstrously complex. The desire to feel that we can somehow control all this with modelling is, I believe, simply a manifestation of the deep human need to feel that we are, in some way, in control. This is simply facile, an attempt to reduce fear. ‘Don’t worry I know exactly what to do, follow me.’ Says the scary person. Control, with something so complex, is an illusion. It is only the intellectually arrogant, or the stupid, who believe we are in control of this situation. We are not. We need to be light on our feet, and ready to react. Not trapped by pointless models containing so many unknown variables that they are worse than useless.

          Reply
    2. Richard Gibbs

      This is one of the few sane responses to this post. Mathematical models with dire predictions are self-defeating prophecies because they will change the parameters that are the basis of the models as people change their behavior in response to the model. It is trite to condemn these early predictions with hindsight.

      Reply
      1. AhNotepad

        I disagree, mathematical models exist inside a computer, I exist in the real world. Rather than using intra computer predictions to grossly distort peoples behaviour then claim that it was the behaviour change what screwed up the model and nmade everything better, why not do nothing, and you might be surprised nothing much will happen. As has happened with all the previous world ending predictions every time a disease is thought of.

        Reply
    3. Richard Gibbs

      I think there is a big misunderstanding of herd immunity. By definition it’s the level of immunity in a population that results in an effective infection rate of 1. As Simon Nicholls notes it’s {1 – 1/r0). The herd immunity level is the level needed to stop new infections from breaking out.

      What no one has mentioned is that when one starts off with a new infection, by the time the number of immune people has reached the herd immunity level there are still a lot of contagious people. So, although the number of contagious people will decline, the number of people who have been infected will continue to grow to a level much greater than the herd immunity level.

      If you run the simulation referenced above with R = 2, the herd immunity level is 50%, but nearly 80% end up being infected. With R = 3, the herd immunity level is 67%, but more than 90% end up being infected. Even with a low value of R = 1.5 you end up with more than 50% infected.

      My conclusion is if you don’t keep R to < 1.5, with an IFR of ~0.5% as suggested by the data from Iceland, you are going to have about 1 million US deaths and 200K UK deaths.

      Reply
    4. Harry de Boer

      What I understood of the model is that it in itself was highly uncertain. And all those changes that have been initiated, like lockdown, hand cleaning, face masks, have never been epidemiologically studied and their effects have never been scientifically quantified or tested, so their was no evidence on which those highly invasive measures were based on.
      Many people are claiming that ‘because of us doing lockdown an social distancine’ we didn’t reach saturation of the health care system BUT IF WE HADN’T DONE THAT IT WOULD HAVE EXPLODED!’ Nonsense, and I will use the same arguments the medical society uses against vitamin C for instance: There is no scientific proof to back that up. None.
      So for me the danger of SARS-CoV-2 (it doesn’t cause SARS) has been highly inflated while it was just a flu, but then a severe one.
      Now can we go on with our lives please?

      Reply
        1. AhNotepad

          Unfortunately what we see is google is the friend of the establishment, not for easily finding less biased information by normal folks. The face masks were said by the CDC and WHO and Fauci to be suitable for medical staff in certain situations, but not for general use by everybody. It seems then a bit of arm twisting went on so the narrative changed.

          Reply
  32. johnplatinumgoss

    Ferguson has a track record second to none of those who make outrageous predictions and survive to do the same thing over and over again and still be acceptable to governments. Vanessa Beeley in OffGuardian, which really does the work the Guardian should do, wrote: “The professor who derailed Johnson’s semblance of “herd immunity” strategy is no stranger to controversy and is described as having a “patchy” record of modelling pandemics by one of his academic peers, Professor Michael Thrusfield of Edinburgh University, an expert in animal diseases.

    Ferguson was instrumental in the modelling of the British Government’s response to Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in 2001, which Thrusfield describes as “not fit for purpose” (2006) and “seriously flawed” (2012).”

    https://off-guardian.org/2020/05/09/who-controls-the-british-government-response-to-covid-19/

    Reply
  33. Danny Evatt

    In the U.S., the 2.2 million COVI19 death figure was “calculated” assuming 100% of the population of the U.S. – all 230 million of us, would get the virus.

    From the arctic circle eskimos of Alaska, to the the skyscraper condos of New York, to the dark swamps of Louisiana – EVERY man, woman, teenager, child and infant, would get this virus. It would be the first time in human history that EVERY human in one country, would get the COVID19 virus. And as a result, using the “death percentage” mentioned above, over 2.2 million of us would die. Oh the horror!

    The press in the U.S., as well as the government, kept repeating this 2.2 million dead number, day and night, frightening everyone. Photos of the dead on gurneys in Italy with bodies piling up at funeral homes were broadcast on TV saying we were next. All men, women children and babies were at risk – all over the U.S., with the distinct probability of over two million dead if something wasn’t done! Oh the horror!

    So the lock-downs began, followed by the collapse of the American economy.

    I often wonder if the press and government officials will look back on this stupidly erroneous 2.2 million dead figure and see what fools they were for believing such exaggerated misinformation… But alas, I think not.

    Reply
    1. Richard Gibbs

      2.2 million dead in a population of 330 million would still be an IFR of less than 1%, which was what people originally thought was its value. The data from Iceland suggests an IFR of about 0.5%, so an estimated US death toll of >1 million would not be unreasonable in the absence of vaccines or treatments. It’s trite to dismiss this original estimate in hindsight/

      Reply
      1. Danny Evatt

        Ridiculous estimates should be dismissed – or at least looked at with skepticism.

        My point was this:

        1. NO virus ever attacks everyone – no matter where they live. The U.S. is a large country – some places are so remote that I’m quite sure they rarely see outsiders. To suggest all humans would get the virus is just plain silly and irresponsible.

        2. The COVID19 virus was already shown to not attack babies or children. To imply they also would get the virus at the same rate was irresponsible.

        When estimating probabilities, one should take into account (at minimum) they two basic items above. That model did not. That model was made for one purpose – to frighten and scare people. And the press loves to scare people – more eyeballs and ad revenue. So they repeated it and repeated it.

        This whole episode has been one exaggerated horror show – and egged on by the media. Honesty about the odds of a healthy person getting the virus and becoming ill or expiring are non-existent. All has been is fear, fear, fear. Calm talk about true odds and probabilities very few and far between.

        Reply
          1. johnplatinumgoss

            Yes, but usually only if they have other illnesses. And there is no more reason to close schools than if there were a bad flu epidemic. It has been an over-reaction.

  34. Binra (@onemindinmany)

    One man fronts the model that was selected to serve as the plausibly deniable pretext for an internationally orchestrated regional imposition of ‘medical’ martial law – – that quarantines the healthy while restructuring compliance of regulatory requirements as the ‘abnormal’ by persistent conditionings to obedience or else! This includes incurring huge debts while denying jobs and businesses – with regs that are here to stay – at least until a biomedical passport, ‘immunisation’ and testing (sic) parameters are enshrined into law and protected by state power and some trusty track and trace enforcers.

    All of it rests on the narrative of the virus theory – and the ability to mutate the narrative, and change its testing parameters so as to maintain at least some pretext for what is clearly a coercive deceit. Note a theory is not the thing it purports to account for. To question a theory is not to deny evidences – but to look at them with a willingness to include anomalies that do not support the current model as a basis for questions that lead to a more workable or truly aligned theory.

    If you – as a doctor – are not aware of the social and geopolitical background to this – or cannot bring it in – then all you have is an appearance of insane incompetence to protect you from malevolent tyranny by design. But all of us as human beings have an arena of responsibility and decision – as did the leaders who signed lockdown into law – for reasons that may include conflicts of interest – and of course all who enforce it.

    Before we ‘do’ something, we are wise to pause reaction so as to discover what we are dealing with. I see a masking over a lack of substance that yet holds the stick of wealth and power – not least of which is the capture of a large section of the population under fear of contagion and another section who are nonetheless socially responsible, obedient and trusting of authorities, and others who are afraid of a malevolent corporately ‘partnered’ (sic) state that is set against our lives under the assertion that ‘our safety is their paramount concern’.

    Doctored science is most grievous as a corporate-cartel or monopolistic bias.
    I restate the two links in
    https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2020/04/28/covid-update-focus-on-vitamin-d/#comment-163130
    as worthy of further attention for the contextual orientation – in which to hold our research as to content – or lack thereof!

    But calls for reason in the light of revealed lack of any real threat, are ignored, because the point of it all was to get a signature and a foot in the door. The underlying structures are already laid down, for compliance, and are rolled out as mission creep with periodic major adjustments in a society rendered as a system, stress tested and engineered to become increasing responsive as controls against threat to the parameters of its modelling – and the power to set them.

    Reply
  35. liz3321

    Iceland closed its schools and universities just after there were 90 cases in the country, so that children may well have been less exposed to the virus. Iceland like New Zealand, followed WHO guidelines to test, trace and quarantine.
    The preliminary results of a study on children in France found that 38% of the school’s pupils became infected – and 43% of teachers and 60% of non-teaching staff caught the disease, 40% of all the people in the school – and 10-11% of all the relatives then became infected. Vidoe in this article in German with subtitles. wawkbox.org/2020/05/11/video-all-parents-need-to-see-terrifying-french-study-shows-what-awaits-uk-if-johnson-proceeds-with-school-opening-plan/
    The article mentions another study “A Geneva study of 23 infected children aged 7 months to 15 years showed that 50% of them – including 3 cases of babies less than 3 months old – had high concentration of infectious material when swabbed.” though no reference.
    This was before social distancing. Will there be enough testing offered to pick up school outbreaks? Care homes

    The French study is not the only frightening one. A Geneva study of 23 infected children aged 7 months to 15 years showed that 50% of them – including 3 cases of babies less than 3 months old – had high concentration of infectious material when swabbed.

    Reply
      1. liz3321

        It’s the spread to other people that can be problematic – starting to increase the numbers in the community infected.

        Reply
    1. Cheezilla

      Most people who’ve been infected have been asymptomatic. Don’t confuse infection rate with actual illness.

      Reply
      1. Martin Back

        ‘In new guidance for mathematical modelers and public health officials, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is estimating that about a third of coronavirus infections are asymptomatic.
        The CDC also says its “best estimate” is that 0.4% of people who show symptoms and have Covid-19 will die, and the agency estimates that 40% of coronavirus transmission is occurring before people feel sick.
        The agency cautions that those numbers are subject to change”
        https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/22/health/cdc-coronavirus-estimates-symptoms-deaths/index.html

        Reply
    2. KJE

      The same infectious material as was found in the goat, the pawpaw and the motor oil? No point being frightened until we get a decent test that actually proves something

      Reply
    3. Terry Wright

      thanks Richard; in these uncertain days, we all crave for guidance, so to hear from an expert like yourself is very reassuring; we need reasoned and punchy assessments to repeat verbatim, so believe me, I will be quoting you endlessly. Richard said it was trite; Richard said it was trite; Richard said it was trite;many thanks again; we look forward to more of your learned contributions. all best wishes

      Reply
    4. Terry Wright

      Hi Liz3321; you sound very scared; we certainly need to pull together to keep ourselves scared; I agree; it is crucial. We will not continue to be terrified if we don’t keep the pressure up. Very right.

      “caught the disease” … I think you mean someone did a nose swab; and it showed positive; big secret: we are laden with bacteria, fungi, viruses and lord know what; if thou seeks, thou shalt find. No-one tested last October .. November .. they could have been positive back then; our little chum the rona virus has been on the move for months; you just weren’t scared back in Nov.

      “had high concentration of infectious material when swabbed”; to be honest Liz, that has to be what a consensus of scientists would say is rubbish: the test is a qualitative PCR test: so it amplifies up a few molecules of some viral remnant; or some other rubbish; endlessly multiplies it, and hey presto …… like a ferguson magical-model …… we have … a POSITIVE test: but it could be negative 30 mins later …. doesn’t that blunt confidence in these things?

      to talk of “high concentrations: to be honest Liz, someone has been telling you porkies; truly. It is a qualitative PCR test: no quantity intended.

      “The French study is not the only frightening one. A Geneva study”: you mentioned that twice; you sound really scared and frightened: Liz: we have two parts of our immune system: the innate that repels invaders in the mucosa and the adaptive that makes antibodies; babies and children do both of these; there are gazillion of bugs about: we are literally full of s**t, as our bowels have all those microbes in them. Please feel more at ease; people are scaring themselves to death.

      Reply
      1. AhNotepad

        Terry, sorry, I have failed, I am just not scared of this virus. The political agenda, maybe, but the virus, no.

        Reply
        1. Harry de Boer

          Politics controlled by finance.
          Affected companies will be nationalized, later privatized to the exact same people that were in charge of the pandemic. It’s just the regular business cycle under the guise of a health crisis.
          Plus that we’ve just forfeited our liberties. The most recent event that people had to wear face masks was in slavery. Let that please sink in for a while…

          Reply
    5. Anna M

      But what was frightening about that study? I saw nothing frightening at all.

      For those in favor of lockdown, I have just one question. Do you have an income?
      If yes, your opinion is very biased.

      Reply
  36. liz3321

    skwawkbox.org/2020/05/11/video-all-parents-need-to-see-terrifying-french-study-shows-what-awaits-uk-if-johnson-proceeds-with-school-opening-plan/ Corrected link here

    Reply
    1. AhNotepad

      liz3321, if France “study” is so bad, why is the same not seen in Sweden? Could the French study be a Fergi type job?

      Reply
      1. Mr Chris

        AHN
        When I see people on here who have never posted before, forecasting the sky is about to fall, I always have certain reservations.

        Reply
        1. Harry de Boer

          Has, some years ago, the government not stated they would build an army of social media influencers in order to further the opinions of the government (or who actually is in charge)?

          Reply
  37. John Smith

    Imperial College responded gave this muddled response to criticism of the Ferguson model to the Telegraph:

    “The UK Government has never relied on a single disease model to inform decision-making. As has been repeatedly stated, decision-making around lockdown was based on a consensus view of the scientific evidence, including several modelling studies by different academic groups.
    Multiple groups using different models concluded that the pandemic would overwhelm the NHS and cause unacceptably high mortality in the absence of extreme social distancing measures. Within the Imperial research team we use several models of differing levels of complexity, all of which produce consistent results. We are working with a number of legitimate academic groups and technology companies to develop, test and further document the simulation code referred to. However, we reject the partisan reviews of a few clearly ideologically motivated commentators.
    Epidemiology is not a branch of computer science and the conclusions around lockdown rely not on any mathematical model but on the scientific consensus that COVID-19 is a highly transmissible virus with an infection fatality ratio exceeding 0.5pc in the UK”

    If this is the best a respected academic institution can do then no wonder this country’s in such a mess.

    Reply
  38. Gary Ogden

    Thank you, Dr. Kendrick. In the month of May, here in the state of Caliloonia the screws have been tightened. But people are so thoroughly pissed off, the eight counties in the valley where I live are planning to open up, in defiance of our pretty-boy Governor, and one city, Atwater, has fully opened up. The dam is cracking. Damn the torpedos!

    Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        Terry Wright: Another smallish city here, Hanford, has declared itself a “sanctuary city.” Unlike those for undocumented immigrants, this is sanctuary for the public from the stupidity of the lockdown. We’re making progress. I need coffee beans, but I refuse to put on a mask to go shopping, so will make do with the instant we keep for emergencies.

        Reply
  39. tallbloke

    If you think Prof Ferguson fiddling the Staats is bad enough considering what it has cost our economy, wait until you get your teeth into climate models and the eye-watering £multi-trillions cost of NetZero.

    Reply
      1. elizabethhart

        And this is James Corbett’s latest video on Gates:
        Meet Bill Gates: https://www.corbettreport.com/meetgates/

        Corbett concludes his four part exploration on Bill Gates saying:

        We must confront the possibility that this quest for control comes not from a selfless spirit of generosity that never seemed to exist before he became a multi-billionaire, but from the same drive for money, the same desire for domination and the same sense of superiority that motivated him on his way up the corporate ladder.

        But if the answer to the question “Who is Bill Gates” is “Bill Gates is a eugenicist,” that tells us some important things about the world that we are living in.

        It tells us that Gates is deceiving the public into supporting his takeover of the world with a false front of philanthropy.

        It tells us that the goal of the Gates, like the goal of the Rockefellers before them, is not to improve the world for humankind, but to improve the world for their kind.

        And most importantly, it tells us that Bill Gates is no comic-book supervillain, single-handedly directing all of the chaos that is unfolding in the world or single-handedly bringing his own order to that chaos.

        No, if Bill Gates is a eugenicist, driven by a belief in the superiority of himself and his fellow wealthy elitists, then what we are facing is not one man, or even one family, but an ideology.

        This is not a trivial point. One man, whatever his wealth, can be stopped easily enough. But even if Bill Gates were to be thrown in jail tomorrow, the agenda that has already been set in motion would continue without missing a beat. An entire infrastructure of researchers, labs, corporations, governmental agencies and public health bodies exists, funded more often than not by Gates, but driven by the belief of all those millions of people working for these various entities that they are truly working in the best interest of the people.

        No, an ideology cannot be stopped by stopping one man. It can only be stopped when enough people learn the truth about this agenda and the world of total, pervasive control that is coming into view.

        Reply
        1. Deb

          Elizabeth, thank you for posting, this is truly disturbing, do you have any thoughts on how we can counter this power and influence?

          Reply
          1. elizabethhart

            Hi Deb, James Corbett has done a marvellous job of putting together this current and historical info on Gates…so many people have no idea…

            Gates and his Foundation and money are wielding enormous power over the global community.

            This unelected individual is manipulating international vaccination policy, and goodness knows what else besides.

            It’s time for the spotlight and investigation…but how to expose such a corrupted system? He seems to have bought everyone…

          2. elizabethhart

            Something really sinister has been going on for years, and that is the labelling of anyone daring to question vaccination policy as ‘anti-vax’, and marginalising and shutting them out of the conversation.

            I’ve been investigating vaccination policy and practice for the past 12 years, and found it bewildering that one couldn’t have a serious conversation about vaccination, what with being attacked by trolls on blogs, ignored by politicians etc…it all seemed so co-ordinated… Was the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation the driver behind this ‘anti-vax’ labelling and marginalisation? Something to investigate I think…

            I’ve written a brief summary of the situation, i.e. ‘Anti-vax’ labelling and the mainstream media…who is co-ordinating this?!?!, see this link if you’re interested to have a look: https://bit.ly/36Q2vNe

  40. Jennifer Ward

    Ferguson’s report used the word “assume” an awfuk lot! (Sorry, that should be ”awful” … Oh, I dunno tho.)

    Reply
  41. Frederica Huxley

    The question is, as there would appear to be no other models available, how should the pandemic been handled?

    Reply
    1. Tish

      Frederica: The obese, the very old and those with co-morbidities could have been warned to take care, and those with a weight problem could have been advised to quickly adopt a low carbohydrate diet. They could have been told that cholesterol is good for them, that it is necessary to have plenty of vitamin C every day and that sunshine on the body is good for them, so long as they don’t burn. I am sure these messages would have got through if they had been repeated as often as the Government’s daily mantras and if they had been discussed ad nauseam every afternoon on television. The public seems highly susceptible to fear. Or they could have asked people like Malcolm Kendrick to address the nation. Care homes could have benefitted from decent treatment. Nothing else needed to be done. The virus might well have been sooner over and done with. There is, after all, no evidence to suggest that it wouldn’t, nor that there would have been any more deaths than are likely with the current actions. And that’s not even taking into consideration all the deaths that are bound to occur because of the lockdown, though these will be conveniently hard to quantify.
      In other words, there is absolutely no evidence that a ‘model’ was necessary. We just needed some uncommon sense and far less vested interest.

      Reply
    2. Terry Wright

      Hi Frederica;

      “The question is, as there would appear to be no other models available, how should the pandemic been handled?”

      if your house has got a small fire; and you are just pouring petrol into your lawn-mower as you spot this small fire, I would still not advise you to pour the rest of the petrol onto the fire, even if that is all you have to hand …

      “as there would appear to be no other models available, “

      Reply
    3. Harry de Boer

      In 2005 Fauci’s NHS produced a paper that showed that chloroquine would be able to stop this pandemic in its tracks. The French top infectious disease expert Didier Raoult already in the earliest stages found the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycine very effective, especially when used in the earliest stages of the disease.
      Well, you can look it up in my first posting above…

      What should have been done is worldwide distribution of this drug cocktail and everybody would have been fine. Even Trump is doing the right thing (that ‘even’ wasn’t meant in a derogatory sense) in that he takes 1 tablet of hcq weekly for prophylaxis, as do the health care workers in India.

      It seems that the establishment is losing the propaganda war against hcq as of today I read two factories, one in the state Madison, US, and one in Mexico, that produce magnesium-stearate for the hcq and azi tablets ‘spontaneously’ exploded.

      That tells me they are losing grip on the collective mind and are now trying through sabotage to keep the cure out of our hands.

      Reply
    1. Craig E

      Thanks for posting @Pentti Raaste MD, very interesting piece and I thought it was very well argued by David Crowe. I had not heard of David or his work before.

      Reply
  42. Richard Gibbs

    With mathematical modeling you have the opposite of a self-fulfilling prophecy. A dire prediction results in a change of behavior that correspondingly changes the parameters the model was based on, so the model’s prediction changes. Don’t with hindsight mock the model’s original prediction; it achieved its objective of changing behavior to avoid a dire situation. Mathematical modeling is operating in a very unstable situation here and its predictions will be correspondingly uncertain. I personally find it very frustrating when solely a model’s estimate is reported without including the uncertainties in those estimates or the conditions those estimates are based on.

    Without a vaccine the number of cases will continue to increase. The problem is to manage the rate of increase. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that, absent a vaccine, at some point the number of infections will reach 80% with such a highly infectious virus, it’s just a question of when; we just don’t want to get there so quickly that the medical system is overwhelmed, which was the situation in New York City for a significant period of time.

    To predict the long-term death total the crucial number is the IFR. The data from Iceland, which included the testing of many asymptomatic people, probably comes close to estimating the IFR, but what it missed was people who were infected but recovered and no longer tested positive. Given the timing of the Icelandic testing, I doubt that was a particularly large number. That suggests to me that 0.5% would be a good working number for the IFR, which corresponds to ~250K deaths in the UK and 1.25M in the US. The US daily death rate is fluctuating between 1,000 and 2,000. Given that much of the US has lost its tolerance of restrictive behavior, I would guess that the average daily toll will continue to be 1,500, which would take the US to about 400K deaths by year end. So, even if a vaccine becomes available next year, I would expect the US death toll to pass 500K. However, I expect there will be many hotspots occurring and consequent localized lockdowns.

    The big issue here is of course the tradeoff between an “acceptable” death rate and the cost of strict lockdowns. There isn’t a simple answer. I don’t think in hindsight that Sweden thinks it had the right answer. Iceland is a special case because of its low population density and good pandemic planning. We will probably have to avoid the high levels of social interaction that occur at crowded sporting events and pubs/restaurants. I don’t know how one handles crowded public transportation.

    Reply
    1. AhNotepad

      Richard Gibbs, you wrote:
      Without a vaccine the number of cases will continue to increase.

      This is contrary to every disease that was substantially reducing before the advent of vaccines. So why is this one so different? Is it just wishful thinking to justify vaccinating everybody? Would that be a not-for-profit ecercise? Or would somebody stand to make a shed load of money? Would they also have no liability?

      Reply
    2. KJE

      But if that were true, and people didn’t due because of lockdown, how come Sweden and Taiwan and S Korea?

      Reply
    3. Tom Welsh

      “Don’t with hindsight mock the model’s original prediction; it achieved its objective of changing behavior to avoid a dire situation”.

      That statement contains a gigantic unjustified assumption: that the model’s original prediction was correct.

      It certainly did achieve its objective of changing behaviour – forcibly and presumptiously.

      But now there is not, and never can be, any evidence that the “dire situation” would have arisen without a lockdown.

      On the contrary, the experience of countries like Sweden that did not enforce a lockdown demonstrates clearly that no “dire situation” arises. Instead, outcomes have been quite similar to the UK.

      You could equally well say to me, “Give me all your money or you will be eaten by a tiger round the next corner”. After I give you all my money, I am not eaten by a tiger – which of course proves that your dire prediction was right.

      Or does it?

      Reply
      1. markheller13

        UK deaths to date 60,000, proportion infected 5-10% implies mortality rate of around 1% and deaths of 500-600k in the case of 70-80% assumed infected. Both remarkably close to Ferguson’s original numbers.

        We can debate around what proportion of the country would have been infected without a lock-down, but outputs from the original model seem sound

        Reply
          1. markheller13

            55.000 recorded excess deaths to 20 May, 62,600 is a cautious estimate of actual excess deaths to date, compared to the most recent 5-year average:

            Yes, I am assuming that these excess deaths are all due to COVID-19, and I think that is our best measure of the total impact of the virus. But I think your question is about what proportion of those deaths are an indirect consequence of actions like lock-down, rather than caused directly by infection from the virus.

            The main contributor to indirect excess deaths is likely to be people who died because they couldn’t/didn’t want to seek medical treatment, and who would otherwise have not died. There are certainly other factors to consider (e.g. mental health issues, domestic violence, etc.), but I think their impact is likely to be much smaller.

            On the other side of the equation, there will be a saving of lives from fewer RTAs, reduced air pollution, lower crime – again, probably not huge numbers, although the reduction in air pollution may well be very significant.

            I don’t think anyone has an answer to how these all balance out, but yes, I do think that a figure of 60,000 isn’t going to be too far away from the real picture of how many people have died from catching the virus.

          2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

            Thinking something with no evidence is not science. It is belief. Is it not? I have written some of those death certificates and seen patients die of other things because of COVID. So my thoughts are based on direct clinical experience. I have also written deaths certificates with Covid on them, with no testing done. So, there is an additional reality that many of those who have been certified as dying of COVID – have not.

          3. markheller13

            Death certification is completely irrelevant when considering excess death data, because the figure simply represents excess deaths from all sources, regardless of what they’re deemed to die of.

          4. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

            Excess death data are, of course, the most important thing. Whilst the overall mortality data remained low, a number of people were stating that Covid was not an issue. I did not join in this particular chorus, as I wanted to see what was going to happen. However, if you are trying to lay the entire blame of excess mortality on Covid, it does become extremely important to know what people actually died of. Then we can more reasonably asses how many people died of Covid, and how many people died because they have been ‘denied’ treatment for other conditions.

            For example, heart attack patients not turning up at hospital. We know that admissions to A&E with chest pain have halved. We know that the community mortality rate for MI is around 40% and in hospital mortality is around 9%. So (using made-up figures) if 50,000 people did not turn up at A&E with an MI, we are looking at a considerable increase in preventable mortality from MIs. 20,000 deaths vs 4,500. That is 15,500 excess deaths because of Covid – but not due to Covid. That is just looking at one condition. These figures become impossible to calculate if the death certificates just stick Covid on everyone who dies – which has happened in some regions. In short, it really, really, matters what is written in the death certificates – and that it is accurate. We cannot just say that all excess deaths are due to Covid.

          5. barovsky

            Apparently, during this period (well up to a couple of weeks ago), MI deaths were up 14% over ‘normal’. Makes a big difference to the numbers doesn’t it?

          6. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

            Barovsky, is English you first language. I only ask because I tend to find that people who have to learn English as a second language find they have to be far more careful in their use of words. Those with English as a first language are often unaware of the imprecision with which they write, and speak. As someone who write quite complex stuff I am endlessly aware of the fact that I make assumptions in meaning that I have to keep going back and correcting. It is very tiring work.

          7. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

            Yes, as highlighted by an article in the BMJ

            Only a third of the excess deaths seen in the community in England and Wales can be explained by covid-19, new data have shown. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) data,1 which cover deaths in hospitals, care homes, private homes, hospices, and elsewhere, show that 6035 people died as a result of suspected or confirmed covid-19 infection in England and Wales in the week ending 1 May 2020 (where deaths were registered up to 9 May), a decline of 2202 from the previous week.

            Although the number of deaths in care homes has fallen for the second week in a row, more covid related deaths are being reported in care homes than in hospitals and are tailing off more slowly. However, David Spiegelhalter, chair of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at the University of Cambridge, said that covid-19 did not explain the high number of deaths taking place in the community. At a briefing hosted by the Science Media Centre on 12 May he explained that, over the past five weeks, care homes and other community settings had had to deal with a “staggering burden” of 30 000 more deaths than would normally be expected, as patients were moved out of hospitals that were anticipating high demand for beds.

            Of those 30 000, only 10 000 have had covid-19 specified on the death certificate. While Spiegelhalter acknowledged that some of these “excess deaths” might be the result of underdiagnosis, “the huge number of unexplained extra deaths in homes and care homes is extraordinary. When we look back . . . this rise in non-covid extra deaths outside the hospital is something I hope will be given really severe attention.”
            He added that many of these deaths would be among people “who may well have lived longer if they had managed to get to hospital.” https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1931

          8. barovsky

            How shameful that our senior citizens should be sacrificed so cruelly and ALL of it, avoidable! I’m still trying to get my head around hospitals sending 100s of ‘Typhoid Marys’, out of hospital back into care homes.
            This government should be arrested en masse for negligent homicide. Hospitals emptied of sick patients and then 1000s of empty beds in the so-called Nightingale hospitals (apparently, only 60 patients treated in them).
            It just reinforces the point I made here awhile back that privatisation and cutbacks have destroyed out ‘public’ services, making incompetence and indifference to suffering, the number output of government.
            And we calle ourselves a civilised nation?

          9. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

            Yes, looking at death certification from that angle, I cannot argue with you. However, the point at issue here is whether or not all those excess deaths are due to Covid. For example, we know that there has been a reduction of 50% in people arriving at A&E with chest pains. We know that community death rate from an MI is 40%, in hospital death rate is 9%. Let us assume that there have been 50,000 less people arriving at A&E with MIs (frightened off by Covid). This will result in 20,000 deaths vs 4,500 deaths. An increase in 15,500 due to preventable deaths from MI. So, here we could have 15,000 extra deaths because of Covid, but not caused by Covid. However, if you stick every death down as Covid – as has happened in some places – these data will be, effectively, lost. Also, we will not know how much damage/death lock-down caused. This is an extremely important thing to know if lock-down is ever contemplated again.

        1. AhNotepad

          markheller13,

          but outputs from the original model seem sound.

          Of course they do, just keep taking the tablets, you will feel better soon.

          Reply
    4. Terry Wright

      ” A dire prediction results in a change of behavior that correspondingly changes the parameters the model was based on, so the model’s prediction changes. Don’t with hindsight mock the model’s original prediction; it achieved its objective of changing behavior to avoid a dire situation.”

      Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. I was blowing my tiger horn Richard; that kept the tigers away for me. Was it the funny hat your wore? Or your special mask? I can only admire the degree of hubris and self-delusion that deceives you; truly admirable.

      My current hypothesis: that there is a strictly inverse relationship between modellers and those who advocate for them; and to the contrary, those who might have reflected a little on reality, and what it seems to say. Keep giving us your lordly pronouncements Richard; we just lap them up.

      Reply
        1. AhNotepad

          Yep, get them scared, then will stop travelling, wear masks, stand in line for food, recoil as if you were going to infect them just because you are out of your home (as they are but don’t see themselves as the problem, it’s always someone else to blame). Look at UK Column for information on SAGE

          Reply
  43. The Wizard

    Apparently, “The Science” is a very close chum of Matt Hancock. Indeed they are such pals that ‘The Science” was the best man at his wedding, no less. Rumour has it that ” The Science” went on the honeymoon too. Latest news is that BoJo has asked “The Science” to be Godfather to his newborn. I could go on but it is abundantly clear that “The Science” is extraordinarily well connected and us plebs will be well looked after. Time to roll your sleeves up and get your shots!

    May I suggest readers visit the excellent YouTube channel Peerless Reads run by British mathematician Andrew Mather. He utterly shreds the Covid-19 stats using national governments’ published figures. The detailed mathematical analysis, depicted in graphs and tables is superb. He is preparing a file with a view to legal proceedings against the perpetrators of the lockdown. Please show your support at

    On a separate note, this is an excellent read.

    https://greatgameindia.com/covid19-files-scientific-investigation-on-mysterious-origin-of-coronavirus/

    Apologies if these links have already been posted by others.

    Reply
    1. Tom Welsh

      Everyone should see Andrew Mather’s presentation(s). They are absolutely crushing, and demonstrate clearly that the numbers imply a conspiracy in several nations to exaggerate the numbers greatly. USA, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, UK… they all report completely impossible, unbelievable figures.

      As Mather observes, graphs of cases and deaths for any real infection should go up, then down. Graphs that go sideways for weeks show that someone has dictated a level of cases and/or deaths, and has ways of making sure that the official figures reflect that.

      Meanwhile, as he points out, most poor countries have hardly been touched – and the same goes for the entire East. The closer you get to Washington, New York and Brussels, the worse this “virus” gets.

      Odd, that.

      Reply
  44. mrhenrym

    Many thanks Dr Kendrick for debunking the ‘model’. All a model does is evaluate the implications of its assumptions and I would reiterate your comments 1000 fold in relation to the current climate models and CO2. If one pays any homage at all to the scientific method there is absolutely no way that CO2 has caused the change in temperature except in the assumptions and minds (and perhaps) politics of the modellers. It is very concerning that so many intelligent people, including our Ministers and MPs and the BBC, cling to the mantra that ‘The science’ is settled. Something that you remind us that it is not every time you write!

    Reply
  45. Harvey Opps

    Hello Dr. Malcom, I’m a Canadian bloke, no science in my background, living Florida. I vaguely recall a Science Documentary during the HIV heyday about some Americans who could not be infected by the virus. A genetic analysis was done to find the why of their uniqueness and their ancestry was traced back to a small town in England. A genetic study of the townsfolk, historical records of the population and a detailed analysis of the local cemetery indicated that none of the population had died from the Black Plague during Medieval period. This lead to focussing a direction for research re HIV. One little point of information can open an unexpected direction for a solution. It takes open minds, something hard to find these days. Curiosity, why? and how? have got be in the forefront.

    As a former cancer victim, I have learned not to trust most experts and narrowly trained professionals. With my fellow victims I have learned that everyone is different. Somethings, however, are consistant, ‘Predators always go after the weakest of the flock.’ One thing we see in the USA is the food industry (and its supporters) make people sick, while the Medical/Pharma/Insurance Industry keep them sick. That is 40% of the USA Economy. Money talks, let’s see how this COVID thing works its way out. The Science of Epidemiology ???

    >

    Reply
    1. Tom Welsh

      “…the food industry (and its supporters) make people sick, while the Medical/Pharma/Insurance Industry keep them sick. That is 40% of the USA Economy. Money talks…”

      Truer words were never said. You could of course add Big Ag to the “foodlike substances industry”.

      Reply
  46. Floyd Shelton

    They went to sea in a seive they did. They went to sea in a seive
    Edward Lear: The Jumblies

    Reply
    1. Harry de Boer

      Stop calling them failures. They did exactly what they had to do. They were a great success.
      The customer got value for his money.

      Reply
    1. Martin Back

      They should do tests on guinea pigs. They can’t make vitamin C, same as humans. See if their vitamin C levels make a difference to their resistance to the coronavirus.

      Reply
    2. AhNotepad

      Tests on hamsters? So masked hamsters are about to take over the world, where is the gates vaccine when it’s needed?

      Reply
  47. scazzer

    The chickens are coming home to roost. Today, Governnemt Minister, Therese Coffey, blames ‘The Science’ for giving them wrong advice. ‘If The Science (my capitals) was wrong, I am not surprised if we made the wrong decisions.’ This Government will never take any responsibility for any of their failings. Just you watch. So the fall guy is not Dominic Raab, but The Science. O, and File on Four, Radio 4 tonight looks at why a ‘policy of discharges of untested patients into care homes was ill thought-out and badly executed. Really?

    Reply
    1. Tom Welsh

      No, they can’t get out of it by blaming The Science.

      There are a lot of scientists and scientific institutions in the UK. And the world; while not look for the best anywhere?

      Why did the government choose Imperial and Ferguson exclusively?

      Heads should roll. It’s not just the economy that’s being put back several centuries. Tens of thousands of extra deaths have been caused.

      Murder one person and you get a life sentence. But apparently once you get into the government you can mow people down by the thousand and there’s no comeback.

      I repeat: what exactly were the criteria for choosing Imperial and Ferguson, without even asking anyone else for a second opinion?

      Reply
      1. chris c

        Boris singlehandedly saves half a million lives. Vote for Boris!

        IMO that’s why Ferguson was chosen, his previous estimates were orders of magnitude wrong so They wanted this to be equally wrong

        Reply
        1. barovsky

          IMO that’s why Ferguson was chosen, his previous estimates were orders of magnitude wrong so They wanted this to be equally wrong

          Wrong! The 500,000 figure was used to put the fear of God into everyone. A quite deliberate act on the part of government to create the ‘right’ conditions for lockdown.

          Reply
  48. JDPatten

    Dr Kendrick,
    Messenger RNA has never been used in a human vaccine before. Logically, it seems to have a built-in safety factor, having nothing directly to do with the substance of the virus itself.
    News media go crazy and the stock market is worse when Moderna releases teasing information.

    That’s bad enough for a whole blog posting,
    but what I’d like very much instead is your considered evaluation of this particular vaccine approach.

    https://investors.modernatx.com/news-releases/news-release-details/moderna-announces-positive-interim-phase-1-data-its-mrna-vaccine

    https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/930714

    Reply
  49. Fred Smith

    Very good explanation of the nonsense that is Ferguson’s modelling. Convincing the govt that the lockdown must end asap is now the problem – too much egg on their face for that to happen though.

    Reply
    1. Harry de Boer

      I read the UK government has ordered 20 million tablets of hydroxychloroquine and 30 million of azithromycine. Maybe they’ll see the light.
      Or they want to sit on it so nobody else can buy them anymore. But that’s improbable, the industry, especially in India, is able to trot out 100’s of millions of those.

      Reply
      1. Cheezilla

        Today it seems my suspicion that they’re “testing” it to “prove” it doesn’t work might be correct.

        Reply
  50. AhNotepad

    The stupidity continues. I heard today that reception classes will start again next month at schools. Now these are 4 year olds. Make a note of that. They are to be kept 2m apart, they are not to play with each other, they are to have no contact with the teacher. All carpets are to be removed. All surfaces are to be cleaned every hour. Children are not to be allowed to play with:
    Sand
    Water
    Lego
    I wonder what else.
    This will be traumatising for the children, unless the intention is to turn them into unsocialised automatons

    Well done UK government followers of The Science. You excel with each passing day. I wonder how you will fare at the next election.

    Reply
    1. teedee126

      In Canada, you can go back to playing tennis with an opponent who is handling a tennis ball with his sweaty, presumably “germy” hands ( which you will also be handling as you serve it back) but you can’t jump into a swimming pool that’s been overdosed with chlorine. I’d like a government official to explain the logic in that. Let all activities proceed if you’re going to allow any.

      Reply
      1. Harry de Boer

        One official went so far as to say: “You can kick his balls but not touch them.”
        That was about what was allowed during tennis with a stranger’s (tennis) balls.
        That generated some laughter…

        Reply
        1. teedee126

          Harry, I can’t think of a better response than laughter at some of the ‘new rules’ coming out. Otherwise, we’d roll our eyes so hard we’d see our own brains.

          Reply
  51. Ken Garoo

    It is not just Ferguson. The Covid event model appears to be described in a Lancet Infectious Disease open access paper, published 30 March 2020

    https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30243-7

    “Estimates of the severity of COVID-19 disease” Robert Verity, Lucy C Okell, Ilaria Dorigatti, Peter Winskill, Charles Whittaker, Natsuko Imai Gina Cuomo-Dannenburg, Hayley Thompson, Patrick GT Walker, Han Fu, Amy Dighe, Jamie T Griffin, Marc Baguelin, Sangeeta Bhatia, Adhiratha Boonyasiri, Anne Cori, Zulma Cucunubá, Rich FitzJohn, Katy Gaythorpe, Will Green, Arran Hamlet, Wes Hinsley, Daniel Laydon, Gemma Nedjati-Gilani, Steven Riley, Sabine van Elsland, Erik Volz, Haowei Wang, Yuanrong Wang, Xiaoyue Xi, Christl A Donnelly, Azra C Ghani, Neil M Ferguson.

    All of the authors, with the exception of JT Griffin (QMC) and CA Donnelly (Imperial and Oxford) are from Imperial College.

    It is not clear if this model was used for all of Ferguson’s prediictions. The impressively consistent outcome suggests it may have been. If that is the case, why was the model not modified over time to correct for the glaring deficiencies? It seems as though the perception is that reality did not conform to the model rather than the other way.

    Ferguson is also a member of the ‘secretive’ Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) . The other members are (in no particular order) ex-GSK, Cambridge Uni, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Kings College, Oxford Uni, Nottingham Uni, Wellcome Trust, Edinburgh Uni and UCL. Some of these institutions appear to be beneficiaries of largesse for ‘coronavirus vaccine’ research. This largesse presumably comes out of the NHS overall budget, which means other NHS services are at risk, given the reduced taxation contributions arising from the lock-down (certainly short term, and possibly medium term). So much for ‘saving the NHS’.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/24/coronavirus-whos-who-on-secret-scientific-group-advising-uk-government-sage

    Reply
  52. Göran Sjöberg

    As far as I understand the Covid deaths are just a blip on the total death curves for “normal” deaths including the ‘average’ flu. If you believe in this you must ask the same question as Malcolm does.

    Why is this completely insane official scare mongering going on and applied in our real world and with these catastrophic social results?

    Our establishment does not consist of ignorant people – on the contrary – and then it is quite natural to lock for “hidden agendas”.

    Reply
    1. Tom Welsh

      Very relevant is this book:

      “The Psychological Assessment of Political Leaders: With Profiles of Saddam Hussein and Bill Clinton”

      It’s not just Saddam Hussein and Bill Clinton; it’s virtually all of them. (And most of those who were relatively sane were noticeable as political failures).

      Take you pick:

      Narcissism
      Paranoia
      Obsession
      Psychopathy

      Reply
        1. Mr Chris

          Malcolm
          The use of excess deaths, that is over and above the average for the same period over the last five years running average, strikes me as a reasonable hypothesis for trying to answer a very thorny question.
          Do you have a better one?
          Asking for a government

          Reply
          1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

            Deaths because of. I have had personal medical experience now of two patients who died because they were ‘diagnosed’ as having Covid and managed as such. They both died of unrelated sepsis. It is clear, also, that people are not attending hospital, not being treated for other conditions, and are dying of them. Yes, some of the excess is due to ‘undiagnosed’ Covid deaths. However, some of the excess is due to the distortion of the health service away from treating other conditions. Which is the greater factor – impossible to say. But simply to state that all excess deaths are due to Covid is, nonsense.

          2. barovsky

            Malcolm, do you think that this ‘muddying of the waters’ re cause of death is deliberate? Cynics might think it’s been done to ramp up the number of covid deaths which in turn helps justify the lockdown.

          3. barovsky

            https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1918.full

            Lockdown is a crude instrument. On its own it can’t eliminate covid-19, but it buys a country time to prepare its health systems and to mount a public health response. Tragically, the UK government has squandered much of the precious eight weeks bought at such great social and economic cost. The question now is whether it is willing to admit mistakes and do what’s really needed to suppress the virus (https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2020/05/11/covid-19-how-can-we-safely-exit-lockdown).

          4. AhNotepad

            I submit there was never any thing/time to “buy”, and that man made efforts to suppress any virus are doomed to fail, as nature is already pretty good at it. Just look at all the diseases our ancestors have survived.

          5. Martin Back

            “Doctors in Northern California say they have seen more deaths from suicide than they’ve seen from the coronavirus during the pandemic.

            “The numbers are unprecedented,” Dr. Michael deBoisblanc of John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, California, told ABC 7 News about the increase of deaths by suicide, adding that he’s seen a “year’s worth of suicides” in the last four weeks alone. ”
            https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/california-doctors-say-theyve-seen-more-deaths-from-suicide-than-coronavirus-since-lockdowns

          6. AhNotepad

            I wonder if this is why Fauci is now saying the US needs to get back to normal. (A CYA exercise)

  53. David Bailey

    Malcolm,

    I thought that was a wonderful post!

    One thing I am not clear about, is whether The Fergoid actually modelled the lockdown situation or just came up with it in his head as a possible solution to the crisis that his model predicted?

    Reply
    1. Terry Wright

      I think you will have to blame the Fergoid

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/terrifying-data-behind-government-coronavirus-lockdown/

      “In a fifth floor meeting room Professor Neil Ferguson, the country’s foremost epidemiologist and adviser on the outbreak’s trajectory, explained to a small group of science journalists why 20,000 coronavirus deaths in the UK would be a win. The alternative would leave 260,000 dead, he explained.

      The change in strategy had been necessitated by new data, said Prof Ferguson. The true position of demand on the NHS had only now become evident. Having run the new numbers, he had advised the government to change course.”

      ….. it’s facts, you see ……….. all to do with THE SCIENCE ..

      …… this was not even a consensus ……

      Reply
  54. Suzay Grenis

    *Ferguson’s .937 or .9% The % always means, “divide by 100.”* *Otherwise .9 is WAY TOO BIG. .9 is almost 1.0 !!!! (But then, divide into 100 parts), But you missed it too. *

    *Our #s are like .2% .2 we’re talking one fifth of a person in one hundred people* *Then to even get closer to A Whole Person, Next they are talking about one thousand people, WHY? Just to scare people who were terrified of 8th grade math and FLUNKED it.* *but that would be like 2 WHOLE people in one thousand people.* *OH, I’M SO SCARED!!* *COVID-19 IS A BRAND NAME. So someone, some corporation can make money off of the branded money. Like the publicly traded CDC, who is betting on a big KILLING now or as a result of their connection to the vaccine industry. It’s all coming out!* *Here check this out please, and thank you:*

    David Martin World Butterfly of the Week, 18 May 2020

    Butterfly of the Week #8, a weekly event where we go live on Facebook to break down and discuss a contemporary topic, with viewer participation greatly encouraged.

    David Martin World

    Butterfly of the Week, 18 May 2020: The Mirage of Justice in Wisconsin

    Under “Show More” for this week’s actionables: On the menu this week – The Wisconsin decision, what it means, and how to carry forward the momentum.

    Link to the slides: https://www.davidmartin.world/wp-cont

    Link to list of the first Executive Order issued by the Governor for each state:

    https://www.davidmartin.world/wp-cont

    Sources: Wisconsin case: https://www.wpr.org/sites/default/fil

    Source of Excess Death Statistics for the US as a whole + state by state: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/co

    A World At Risk: WHO’s 2019 Annual report on global preparedness for health emergencies: https://apps.who.int/gpmb/assets/annu

    Tune in next Monday for the next episode, 5PM EDT. Visit http://www.davidmartin.world for more of David’s content

    On Tue, May 19, 2020 at 1:07 AM Dr. Malcolm Kendrick wrote:

    > Dr. Malcolm Kendrick posted: “19th May 2020 It appears we went into > lockdown based on the modelling of one man – and his team. Neil Ferguson > from Imperial College London. His workings predicted that, if nothing were > done to prevent the spread of COVID, half a million people would d” >

    Reply
    1. markheller13

      How do you get to 0.2%?

      Given we’ve had 60,000+ excess deaths already, most of which are likely to be from COVID-19, that would suggest that up to 30m people, i.e. half the population have already been infected with COVID, which not only seems highly unlikely, but goes against the anti-body testing to date which suggest only 5-10% of the population has been infected

      Reply
      1. Tom Welsh

        “Given we’ve had 60,000+ excess deaths already, most of which are likely to be from COVID-19…”

        Did you mean to write, “highly likely”?

        Reply
        1. markheller13

          Hi Tom, no actually! 🙂

          Excess deaths is made up of direct deaths from catching COVID, PLUS deaths that wouldn’t have occurred without lock-down (mainly people not seeking medical care that would have saved them) LESS lives that have been saved by lock-down (e.g. fewer RTAs, lower air pollution, reduced crime, etc.).

          I really don’t know how these numbers all balance out, but my gut feel is that the vast majority of excess deaths are directly due to catching the virus

          Reply
          1. Jerome Savage

            Lower RTA’s might possibly be balanced off by accidents involving ill equipped DIY virgins, increased unregulated alcohol consumption, stress. Air pollution reduction is unlikely to have any immediate benefits.
            Crime ? Might it go up or down ? I’d have thought that persons cooked up in a domestic situation for weeks at a time might not always have a pleasant outcome. One way or the other it will be negligible. I have had 2 appointments postponed. I suspect I will survive. Maybe others will not be so lucky.

      2. Terry Wright

        thanks Mark
        “anti-body testing to date which suggest only 5-10% of the population has been infected”

        everyone thinks this; the only rock of safety is slowly making antibodies ………

        ….. antibodies come from the slower, adaptive immune response; we actually also have an innate immune response, where AMPs etc attack intruders; where they have not met these before;

        call these endogenous antibiotics if you will: this article cited by Dr K in an earlier blog https://virologyj.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/1743-422X-5-29 leads one into them.

        interestingly, Vit D up-regulates this innate system; and down-regulates the adaptive system.

        so in summer, when in plenty of sunshine, (and in best of health?) one has a heightened innate system: and a dampened adaptive: so less antibody and less cytokines;

        eg “Volunteers inoculated with live attenuated influenza virus are more likely to develop fever and serological evidence of an immune response in the winter.”

        so in winter; lowered Vit D levels; lowered innate immunity, the adaptive is more prominent: so more antibody: (serological evidence) and more cytokine (fever etc) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2870528/

        Reply
        1. markheller13

          Thanks Terry, very interesting.

          I try to keep my immune system in as good a shape as possible, and take D3+K2 every day. Interesting though to see that lower levels of Vit D can actually improve the immune response!

          Reply
          1. LA_Bob

            markheller13,

            “Interesting though to see that lower levels of Vit D can actually improve the immune response!”

            Please show where Terry said that.

  55. Lynn Wright

    This whole pandemic, I believe, is a political, New World Order, agenda. Ferguson has always been wrong (Swine Flu, Foot and Mouth, etc.), yet since his imperial College was the benefactor of Gates’ millions for years, what else could he do but spew forth these ridiculously inflated numbers in the hope Gates could make even more $ from his dream to inoculate the entire world with a vaccine he invested in developing, and will profit from? And check out this interesting presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imrLwM97i0k&fbclid=IwAR1M73RYvCp2afPMiP06tvMG3Z06D7sDyf9yEhJm5oVyNb_b3IORCH0eRpE

    Reply
  56. Frieda Paton

    And then add the politicians so high on power that they take over even when the scientists say the hard lockdown serves no purpose any more. In South Africa all the regulations made are touted as “saving lives”. Shops may only sell winter clothes – eg no slops, no open toe shoes, and T-shirts only if shown to be worn under a jacket or similar warm overgarment. Would love to interrogate The Science on that!

    On Tue, 19 May 2020, 10:05 Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, wrote:

    > Dr. Malcolm Kendrick posted: “19th May 2020 It appears we went into > lockdown based on the modelling of one man – and his team. Neil Ferguson > from Imperial College London. His workings predicted that, if nothing were > done to prevent the spread of COVID, half a million people would d” >

    Reply
  57. Graham D

    Epidemiology is not science – everything an epidemiologist says should be taken with a pinch of salt.

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      Graham D: Epidemiology is indeed science, and very useful science. However, it is a classic error by politicians and media to consider epidemiological findings as scientific fact, when they are merely hypothesis-generating. The beginning of the search for fact.

      Reply
      1. AhNotepad

        Fergi100, perhaps you would like to write in complete sentences, so people may have a chance of understanding what point you are trying to make. If this is too much trouble, don’t write anything.

        Reply
    1. Göran Sjöberg

      Judy Mikovits has now written a new book “Plague of Corruption” and here she knows what she is talking about from her own experience to start with.

      Reply
      1. AhNotepad

        Here n the UK we have the 77th Brigade (misinformation detectors), they might not agree. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the recent new posters here are from that group.

        Reply
          1. chris c

            Yes I pondered – these people are actually paid to read blogs etc, and post their agenda. But what if they read so much sense that it starts to interfere with their programming?

        1. KJE

          Snopes – oh dear! Back in the days when we needed someone to tell us that Microsoft didn’t email us to give away money and nor did unknown Nigerian relatives, Snopes was quite reliable on urban myths. Now, like Wikipedia, it just reiterates the main media viewpoint/bias and definitely does not distinguish between fact and disinformation. This article could be true, but it’s impossible to tell with Snopes.

          Reply
          1. Shaun Clark

            Oh, back in the day stories eh? Spare me, please. Anyway, did you read the Snopes article? From your comments, I would guess not. Balance is always required. There is plenty of assorted evidence in it from a variety of credible sources. I don’t doubt that there could possibly be games afoot with assorted players with bundles of dosh, nefarious ambition, and specious influence. It was always thus, but this lady is a bitter siren and in denial. Much like Andrew Wakefield. Kinda sad, but I guess anti-vaxxers need their own kinda ‘fuel’ to bolster their faith.

          2. AhNotepad

            Shaun, your style seems very dismissive of anything you disagree with, but once you got to Andrew Wakefield, it indicated a woeful lack of factual knowledge.

          3. KJE

            Ah, a youngster who doesn’t believe in the lessons of history. Never mind. I didn’t like her either, but I prefer to listen all sides of an argument and then make up my own mind. It doesn’t really matter to me if she was sacked for good reason or not, or arrested and charged for committing an offence. That happens to lots of people. However, I wouldn’t ever cites Snopes as any sort of authority. I’d be looking at journal articles (and the authors and their biases) and blogs by doctor’s and researchers, I think that’s my lot for today.

          4. Mr Chris

            Shaun
            Thanks for that post. Only way out of the disinformation fog is to read as many different sources as possible and try to reach your own conclusions about reliability.

          5. elizabethhart

            Shaun Clark, re your reference to ‘anti-vaxxers’, what’s your definition of an ‘anti-vaxxer’? Do you think people should be forbidden from questioning vaccination policy and practice?

            For example, Jane Halton, Chair of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) recently argued that coronavirus vaccination should be compulsory[1] (when and if it becomes available…). Halton is in a position of great influence, also being one of Australia’s National COVID-19 Co-ordination Commissioners, i.e. an adviser to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.[2]

            CEPI is an organisation which works with the vaccine industry and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others[3], so Halton has massive conflicts of interest.

            Shaun, do you consider it ‘anti-vax’ to question the possibility of compulsory coronavirus vaccination?

            References:
            1. Top adviser to Scott Morrison backs ‘no jab, no play’ for all. The Australian, 18 May 2020 (This article may be behind a paywall.)
            2. National COVID-19 Coordination Commissioners and Key Staff: https://pmc.gov.au/nccc/who-we-are
            3. See info on CEPI via this link: https://cepi.net/about/whoweare/

          1. Shaun Clark

            Hi Göran, Sorry, no haven’t read her book but I have read and seen enough video’s of her to be very alarmed. That’s my take on her. Anyway, it’s nice to be called a youngster (by KJE) when I’m 69 next birthday! What a giggle. There is no need to seek-out technical journals to establish what is bullshit. Snopes (and other straightforward sites) do it rather nicely. So, don’t be so bloody arrogant KJE!

            I’ve had to reply here ‘cos there was little other option with the other post on this topic. As a ‘Patch Brat’ (Military Dependent), I was dragged all over the world as a result of my father’s postings (Royal Signals/GCHQ). We generally moved every 2 years (…if we were lucky), and my passport(s) had a very large wad of vaccination Certs attached. We never moved as a regiment but as a family. Further, in my professional career (Engineering, Aquaculture, and IT), I’ve been a bit of a global itinerant. Recently, a colleague on Facebook ran a silly Comp about how many places you have lived and worked (I ‘won’ with 38 (most overseas), including 4-years in Australia: Sydney, Perth, & the Northwest Shelf, Elizabeth). So, I know a lot about jabs and infectious diseases. I also have 4-kids and 6-grandchildren and so I’ve gone through the angst of vaccinations. You may not have seen my previous post on vaccines, but I am concerned as to where this sector is going today.

            Anti-vaxxer elicits a knee-jerk, and I mainly wrote that to flush out this blogs ‘fruits’ such as the over-opinionated AhN. I have worked in the NHS (Trainee Hospital Management [1973 for 6-months], and that was a sad eye-opener), and my ex-wife is also a Physiotherapist. As an Aquaculture-farmer, I am all too aware of infectious diseases, and the sometimes stupid lengths that farmers can go to in distant lands to cover-up their bad practices. Besides, all this, a good friend is a GP in Kent, and two others are GP’s in Oban, Argyll, who are both long-standing friends will a string of serious accomplishments, and with whom I have debated the UK’s health well into the night, and so for a youngster, I think I have enough broad experience to be able to offer a balanced opinion.

          2. AhNotepad

            I see, so my opinions are “over opinionated” while yours are “balanced”. In fairness, the balance is only exceeded by the modesty.

          1. Shaun Clark

            Hurts don’t it? Meddling boffins (maybe) and ivory-towered academics (lockdown) from Wuhan to Washington (via IC) got the world into this sordid mess and yet simple pragmatism helps expose the (confused) rants of someone with a deeper agenda. Extraordinary claims need extraordinary proof, not fibs. Your information argument is much the same as someone calling out the good Doctor as a regional nobody! Anyway, Occams razor does come to mind at such times. I like it simple, as well as keeping matters balanced, and of course modest.

      2. Fergl100

        Hi Goran, I watched an interview she gave on the Health Freedom Summit. I didnt like her. From the start when she is described as one of the “most skilled scientists of her generation”. An appeal to authority if ever there was one and IMO not true. Some quotes “they have unleashed the virus” “Covid 19 means Corona virus infectous disease 2019 but does not mean SARS Cov-2 causes the disease”. She implies that Covid 19 is caused by pollution, glyphosphate (her favourite topic I think), chemtrails, aluminium and plutonium from satellites. Just scatter gun. She says SARS Cov-2 doesn’t cause high fever as its an RNA virus. Which is wrong and coming from a virologist as well. Measles Ebola Flu are all RNA viruses. So not for me.

        Reply
  58. markheller13

    I’m a big supporter of Dr Kendrick, but this article feels well wide of the mark to me.

    Firstly, the use of Iceland data: 10 deaths is such a small number that it makes any death rate estimate based on it highly unreliable. Also, it seems very unreasonable to beat Professor Ferguson over the head with data that wasn’t available to him at the time the model was constructed.

    Secondly Dr Kendrick seems to have missed the main point of Professor Ferguson’s model, which was to investigate the point at which the NHS would become overwhelmed, and to model the consequences. In this situation, the death rate would have clearly increased significantly, resulting in many more deaths.

    Finally, Dr Kendrick denigrates and belittles both the model and the modeller (“you could have given me a fag packet and a pencil, and I could have given you a more accurate model”, “the mad modellers of the lockdown”), despite demonstrating only a very superficial understanding of what the model is doing. He also tries to make his point by stating that Ferguson’s figures swung wildly, without bothering to consider the different assumptions underlying the various different projected death estimates.

    Based on UK numbers to date, we’ve had around 60,000 deaths, and a 5-10% infection rate (based on the latest testing figures). Using my own fag packet and pencil, this would suggest a mortality rate of just over 1%, and total potential deaths of up to 600k based on the potential scenario of 70-80% of the population becoming infected. This seems remarkably consistent with the “wild guesses” made by Prof Ferguson.

    It’s abundantly clear that huge mistakes have been made in the management of this crisis, not least the massive over reliance on mathematical models based on highly speculative and unreliable assumptions. However, to belittle Professor Ferguson and his work in such a personal way seems to me particularly inappropriate here.

    Reply
    1. Tom Welsh

      “However, to belittle Professor Ferguson and his work in such a personal way seems to me particularly inappropriate here”.

      Even in the USA, they have the custom “three strikes and you’re out”.

      Ferguson is currently on five strikes – and yet he could well remain “at bat”.

      Does his daddy own the ball?

      Reply
    2. Shaun Clark

      I think the guy is totally pissed off. He deserves to be. I am, and I just read what he experiences.

      Reply
    3. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      I am, in part, basing my criticism on Ferguson’s previous predictions. Which have been woefully, almost inconceivably, inaccurate. In addition, his predictions have resulted in the greatest loss of personal liberty in the history of the world, and cost trillions of dollars. Many thousands of people will die as a direct result of lockdown – who would not have otherwise died, and I believe that far more people will die from economic and social hardship than could ever have died from Covid. His prediction about deaths from Covid is now entirely impossible to validate due to enormous observer effect. However many people die it will be argued, by those who support Ferguson, that gigantic difference in deaths from initial predictions, will be entirely due to the lockdown. So, yes, I place a considerable burden on blame on Neil Ferguson and I think his model is complete nonsense. Therefore I have mocked him, and his ridiculous model. Those who wish to wield such frightening power should accept that they will come under withering criticism from all comers. If they cannot take the heat, they should piss off out of the kitchen.

      Reply
      1. AhNotepad

        Elon Musk and Richard Branson are working on travel to another planet, that would be a better place.

        Reply
      2. Fergl100

        I like the fact you attack those in power with no holds barred but treat those who argue on this blog with polite respect. Just as it should be. Great blog.

        Reply
      3. LA_Bob

        One wonders why Ferguson has survived for so long in his apparently exalted position. Worth looking into.

        Perhaps the Peter Principle explains it, which suggests someone rises through the ranks to their level of incompetence and then remains there.

        Perhaps political expediency explains it. You forecast calamity. Government “takes action”. The forecast fails, and Government says, “See? Our actions averted catastrophe!” Hard to prove otherwise, right? Let’s keep Mr Calamity Forecaster around. He’s our ticket to holding power forever!

        The child who called out the Emperor’s nakedness might wonder, Is this really the best we can do?

        Reply
  59. Ken MacKillop

    Dr. Kendrick, do you know if Ferguson is really an epidemiologist? Seems difficult to believe — he clearly does not understand even the basics of adaptive immune response (humoral and cell-mediated, both) as the predominant dynamic negative feedback in any large-scale epidemic.
    In USA it appears that both federal and state governments have no epidemiologists at all in advisory roles. That is one thing. In northern European countries it appears that all of the governments do, although most have not followed their epidemiologists’ guidance.
    Chris Whitty seems to have at least the expected amount of knowledge but Ferguson does not.

    Reply
    1. Cheezilla

      Then one has to ask why Whitty, as CMO, didn’t call for the predictions to be crosschecked (unless he did …..)

      Reply
  60. andy

    Urgently need a new model to predict the 2nd wave of deaths in next flu season if restrictions removed now. My model would disregard deaths in “care homes”, and put emphasis mainly on diabetics. What is known now is that 50% of deaths were in care home, the other 50% could be attributed to 65+ diabetics. Other factors to consider are average life expectancy and efficacy of medical care in treating diabetes. Effect of a covid-19 vaccine would theoretically result in a “normal” flu season death rate.

    https://www.geripal.org/2010/08/length-of-stay-in-nursing-homes-at-end.html
    “-the median length of stay in a nursing home before death was 5 months
    -men died sooner after admission than women (men had a median length of stay of around 3 months versus 8 for women)
    -married nursing home residents died sooner after admission than unmarried participants (an average of 4 months sooner) 
    -nursing home residents in the highest quartile of net worth died six months sooner than those in the lowest quartile.”

    https://dlife.com/life-expectancy-prediabetes-type1-type2-type3-diabetes/
    “A 2010 report by the Diabetes UK claims that type 2 diabetes reduces the lifespan by 10 years. A 2012 Canadian study claimed that women aged over 55 years with type 2 diabetes lost on an average of 6 years while men lost 5.
    Most of this early death comes from complications such as heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure. People with the condition also tend to be depressed and inactive all of which tend to make the lifespan shorter.”

    Reply
    1. Terry Wright

      Hi Andy:
      “Urgently need a new model to predict the 2nd wave of deaths in next flu season if restrictions removed now.”
      seem to be a whole pile of assumptions here; tightly inter-connected as though they were true;

      as Tom Sowell said: “oft-repeated assertions are frequently mistaken as facts”

      Reply
  61. Roger Germann

    It’s standard engineering practice to use an iterative estimation technique like a Kalman Filter which includes an initial estimation of both the measurement uncertainty and the estimate uncertainty. As more data is accumulated the estimate along with the uncertainties are updated. It defies common sense why a pandemic model wouldn’t follow the same procedure – make your best guesses for all the parameters to start with and then refine the estimate and uncertainty as more data is collected.

    Reply
  62. Martin Back

    Meanwhile back in South Africa, which so far seems to be doing very well on the Covid front thanks to an early lockdown, our chief epidemiologist Dr Harry Moultrie gave a briefing to the media last night and forecast that our hospital system would almost certainly be overwhelmed, and our peak would only be reached in August or September.

    I thought this seemed far too gloomy, but if you go to the Financial Times interactive graph and look at the various countries’ progress, there seems to be no pattern to it. China and the western countries saw a rapid climb to a peak and are over the top. Brazil, Mexico and India are still climbing rapidly. Australia, Greece, South Korea and Israel hardly had a peak at all.

    https://ig.ft.com/coronavirus-chart/?areas=usa&areas=gbr&areasRegional=usny&areasRegional=usnj&cumulative=0&logScale=1&perMillion=0&values=deaths

    I defy anyone to come up with a model that could have predicted all these results.

    Reply
    1. barovsky

      I defy anyone to come up with a model that could have predicted all these [varied] results.

      Oh the irony! It’s not the virus that killing people so unevenly, but our economic system! So, in South Africa, very few deaths (so far), yet virtually no national health system and what there is, already overloaded. For most, unsanitary and crowded living condition; massive unemployment (+40%), so you would expect, high mortality. So why? Well, better immune systems, a ‘poorer’ but much healthier diet and lots of sunshine.

      Fly a few 1000 miles West, in the US dark-skinned people are 2-4 times more likely to die than whites (though what of the similar economic conditions that most Black Americans share with most Black South Africans?). It seems that this particular virus ‘exploits’ all kinds of existing conditions, both within and without the body. Only these vast differences in our living conditions and state of health can explain why the same virus has such different effects in different countries and even within different countries.

      So I read today that people with Type 1 Diabetes are much more likely to get very ill from the virus, so it’s obesity and shit diets that’s killing us, NOT the virus.

      Reply
      1. Cheezilla

        You’ve got the wrong diabetes type! It’s type 2 that’s caused mainly by obesity and high-carb diets. T1 diabetes is very different but sufferers will be very vulnerable.

        Reply
        1. teedee126

          “You’ve got the wrong diabetes type! It’s type 2 that’s caused mainly by obesity and high-carb diets”

          Cheezilla, it does seem that many people with Type 2 Diabetes are obese and have also followed a high-carb diet for many years (that was certainly the case for me when I was diagnosed and told I would need to go on medication. Thankfully, I decided to do some research and found that a low-carb diet could keep the doctor and his meds away). But Type 2 Diabetes/Metabolic Syndrome/Insulin Resistance is a bit more complex. Look into those described as TOFI (thin on the outside, fat on the inside. They can get Type 2 Diabetes, too).The only reason I mention this is that I wouldn’t want readers to think that obesity automatically causes T2D, but more importantly, I wouldn’t want those who are thin to think they’re in no danger of being diagnosed with T2D. They certainly can be.

          Reply
          1. andy

            Hi teedee: re danger in being diagnosed with T2D
            The danger part is a postprandial blood glucose spike that can happen to anybody, not just diabetics. Glycocalyx needs a day to return to normal after a glucose spike. A lot of damage has already been done by the time one is diagnosed.

          2. teedee126

            Andy, I couldn’t agree more, and in our culture, we don’t really allow it to “return to normal” when we pump in the glucose every meal of every day. As some have mentioned in the past, being tested only for fasting glucose and A1C isn’t enough, because as you said, a lot of damage has already been done by the time one is diagnosed with T2D. It needs to be standard practice to have our insulin tested, as well, because it can give a hint of the damage being done a decade or more before a diagnosis of T2D is ever made.

          3. Cheezilla

            Thanks for expanding and clarifying. That’s why I was careful to write caused MAINLY by obesity etc. I was trying to be succinct because I just wanted to point out the error. Type 2 is a preventable and controllable disease – if you do your own research and completely ignore standard medical advice, unless you are lucky to have a GP like Dr Kendrick. Type1 not so. I have experience of both in my family.

      2. Sasha

        South African blacks are exposed to very different climate compared to North American blacks. Chicago climate wasn’t designed for a black body, IMO. Also, I think that economic conditions (and opportunities) for North American blacks are superior to those of South African blacks. If you were to open up US borders, there could be a massive influx of Africans, including South Africans, to the US. You don’t see the reverse with North American blacks moving to Africa. Why?

        Reply
    2. Tom Welsh

      Was it the South African government that pooh-poohed AIDS, and said that all it took to prevent it was a shower?

      Reply
      1. barovsky

        A previous SA govt, in fact Thabo Mbeki’s govt but the situation was complex, not the least of which was the perception in Africa that AIDS was a creation of the West, which in a way, it was. Also, Mbeki’s govt were reluctant to spend the bucks and again it was the cost of these Western drugs that spurred anger and resentment in SA. So yes, it was all rationalised on the basis of one (Western) doctor who argued that there was no such thing as the AIDS virus. So a deal of denial and opportunism involved as well.

        Reply
      2. Martin Back

        Barovsky gives the gist. Messrs Rath and Duesenberg provided the “scientific” justification for a government policy that encouraged people to strengthen their immune system by taking garlic, lemon juice, beetroot, and African potato. The cost of AIDS drugs then was something like $1,000 a month, and poor Africans were saying how could the government justify spending that much on prostitutes and gays (who were most affected) when decent people were starving. (By comparison, the old age pension today is about $100 per month and for many households it is their only income.)

        As for advice to always wear a condom, this was interpreted by militant Africans as a genocidal plot by whites to lower the black birth rate.

        These days sanity prevails, and AIDS tests, antiretrovirals, and condoms are freely available at state expense. But HIV infection rates are still around 30% in some areas.

        Reply
    3. Jerome Savage

      Martin – a model that also accounts for multiple definitions of deaths by covid across different countries, plus different levels of lockdown across different countries.

      Reply
    4. Terry Wright

      “so far seems to be doing very well on the Covid front thanks to an early lockdown,”

      .. come on Martin: all these respiratory viral outbreaks are profoundly seasonal;

      South Africa is in the southern hemisphere; at similar latitude, Australia and NZ have been profoundly unaffected by rona; but have taken king-hits with self-inflicted economic damage;

      influenza, parainfluenza, adenoviruses, RSV (respiratory synctial virus) the family of coronaviruses …… all arrive in a northern european late winter; they are remarkably similar;

      sunlight is crucial; you were as likely to have widespread rona problems in SA in March, as you would have been to have snow: it is as stark as that;

      in temperate latitudes; respiratory viral outbreaks are in late winter; in the tropics, it is in the rainy seasons: ….. lack of sun Shek LP, Lee BW: Epidemiology and seasonality of respiratory
      tract virus infections in the tropics. Paediatr Respir Rev 2003,
      4:105-111.

      a few select folks seem to have known all this; they just didn’t like … cough politely .. and point all this out ………
      __________________________________________________
      “are still climbing rapidly.” .. are you meaning positive test results? .. the more you seek, verily, verily, the more thou shalt find …………..

      Reply
  63. Tom Welsh

    I was looking at the Wikipedia article on Covid-19 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronavirus_disease_2019. There is a prominent panel at the top right of the page, giving a summary description. It’s fine as far as it goes, but I noticed it includes this:

    Symptoms Fever, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of smell; sometimes no symptoms at all
    Complications Pneumonia, viral sepsis, acute respiratory distress syndrome, kidney failure, cytokine release syndrome

    So Wikipedia lists five serious complications of Covid-19, all of which can obviously cause death in short order.

    It occurred to me to look at Wikipedia’s corresponding page for Influenza https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenza. In the summary panel, I saw this:

    Symptoms Fever, runny nose, sore throat, muscle and joint pain, headache, coughing, feeling tired

    There is no list of “complications” at all! Although of course flu can lead to pneumonia, viral sepsis, shortness of breath, kidney failure, and cytokine release syndrome. (I don’t know about acute respiratory distress syndrome but it seems likely flu can cause that).

    So apparently Covid-19 can cause at least five very severe complications, but flu doesn’t cause any complications.

    However I see that Wikipedia attributes 323,286 deaths to Covid-19 (so far) and states that flu causes “Up to 650,000 respiratory deaths per year”. (Does flu cause “non-respiratory” deaths? And if so, why are they not added to this total?

    Somehow, flu kills more people than Covid-19 despite having no complications! What does it do, hug people to death?

    Reply
  64. Tom Welsh

    I think that (almost) all of us reading Dr Kendrick’s blog are very appreciative of his forthright honesty, wide knowledge, and recent personal experience of Covid-19 and its effects. I know I am. It’s good to have a reliable source of unvarnished, bias-free expertise.

    On a completely unrelated topic, is everyone aware of the existence and mission of the British Army’s 77th Brigade? According to UK Column last month,

    “Last Wednesday, during the daily UK Government Coronavirus livestream, the head of the British Army, General Sir Nick Carter, bragged:

    “We’ve been involved with the Cabinet Office Rapid Response Unit, with our 77th Brigade helping to quash rumours from misinformation, but also to counter disinformation. Between three and four thousand of our people have been involved, with around twenty thousand available the whole time at high readiness…

    “General Carter said his 77th Brigade is “helping to quash rumours from misinformation, but also to counter disinformation.”

    “What misinformation and disinformation is 77th Brigade helping to quash? How much of the ‘disinformation’ originates from 77th Brigade in the first place?

    “Part of 77th Brigade’s role is:

    ‘Monitoring and evaluating the information environment within boundaries or operational area’

    “They not only ‘counter’ disinformation, but also watch social media, analysing how disinformation, including their own, spreads; mapping the internet and the networks of people sharing content between each other.

    “And for that, they have thousands deployed, and tens of thousands in reserve, not only in 77th Brigade directly, but right across government and the third sector”.

    https://www.thenational.scot/news/18398012.defence-chief-says-77th-brigade-countering-covid-misinformation/
    https://21stcenturywire.com/2020/04/29/77-brigade-is-british-military-waging-an-information-war-on-its-own-population/
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/05/23/77_brigade_british_army_still_short_personnel/
    https://www.wired.co.uk/article/inside-the-77th-brigade-britains-information-warfare-military

    Reply
    1. Terry Wright

      thanks Tom;

      one does wonder at some these folks that pop up in the discussions here; I won’t give examples!!

      .. but it does occur to me: are some of the people who post,
      are they squaddies ….

      … some with hair-nets on: sitting calling themselves Liz or something?
      .. or are they pretending to be Eton graduates and calling themselves Richard or something?

      …. are they in fact like Italian soldiers, with 4 forward gears and 8 reverse gears, who retreat at the first obstacle?

      Reply
    2. Mr Chris

      Tom
      So how do they , the 77 th brigade decide what is misinformation?
      As our good friend Tacitus would say « quis custodiet custodes iipsos »

      Reply
      1. Tom Welsh

        Excellent point, Mr Chris! I feel the same way; also about all the talk of “fake news”.

        It took a while for me to understand that many people believe that mainstream “news” is always 100% “true”. So in their minds, there can be such a thing as “fake news”. Real news is like, say, a genuine Rolex watch; so fake news is like a copy of a Rolex passed off for the real thing.

        Of course that is all nonsense. Throughout history the cleverest and best-intentioned people have continually disagreed about the truth or falsehood of almost everything. One of the best ways of misleading people is by concealing things that have been said and done.

        “It’s not enough to be able to lie with a straight face; anybody with enough gall to raise on a busted flush can do that. The first way to lie artistically is to tell the truth — but not all of it. The second way involves telling the truth, too, but is harder: Tell the exact truth and maybe all of it… but tell it so unconvincingly that your listener is sure you are lying”.

        – Lazarus Long (In “Time Enough for Love” by Robert A Heinlein)

        One person’s brilliant world exclusive, ripping away the veil that has hitherto hidden the brutal truth, is apparently someone else’s “Chinese and Russian disinformation”.

        But of course governments have always spun the most elaborate veils of disinformation themselves. So what do they do when well-meaning citizens reveal the truth and show the government up for what it is – a deliberate, cynical, practiced liar?

        Obviously, give lots of soldiers taxpayers’ money to sit at computers all day long doing whatever their back-up units of psychological “hidden persuaders” say will most effectively brainwash the most people.

        UK Column have been blowing the whistle on those activities for weeks now – highly recommended. See, for example,

        https://www.ukcolumn.org/article/behavioural-insights-second-team-leading-uk-governments-covid-19-response

        and

        https://www.ukcolumn.org/article/covid-coercion-boris-johnsons-psychological-attack-uk-public

        Reply
        1. Mr Chris

          Tom
          Thank you for the links, helps me to understand things a bit better, such as the Ferguson pile on when it was decided he had to go.
          I find the news management issues in the current crisis very interesting and alarming. Meaningful debate is certainly discouraged and disparaged. The whole atmosphere makes it very difficult to counteract, for example the bit about snitching.

          Reply
          1. Cheezilla

            I was encouraged on last night’s Newsnight when Emily Maitlis, doing the usual spiel about asking if the government would like to comment said “All together now, you know how it goes: No-one was available!”
            Emma Barnett, last week, interviewing Tobias Ellwood and he started to get flustered. She hastily stroked his feathers and said “We do appreciate your coming on the programme.”

            I think it must be hard for some of them to have to keep their faces straight and bite their tongues while helping the BBC to churn out so much blatant alarmist propaganda, smokescreens and disinformation during the last few weeks.
            Whe ministers weren’t allowed on the tv to comment around election time, plus the funding threats, the Beeb must have to be on its best behaviour – but the masks are starting to slip.

    3. ShirleyKate

      ‘Twenty thousand available the whole time at high readiness … ‘ Are we paying all these people? From the defence budget, or what?

      Reply
    1. teedee126

      Gary, thanks for that link to the MDA guest post. I’ve been focusing on strengthening my lungs lately, and while I keep reminding myself to keep breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth when climbing steep hills, etc. now I know why that is particularly important. I didn’t realize that NO is present only in nose breathing, but only when breathing in. I now know it’s wasteful to breathe out through the nose. Very helpful, thanks again.

      Reply
      1. mikeezeem

        teedee126
        I thought that mouth bacteria kick-started the conversion of nitrates in food into NO
        Supposedly people who use mouthwash twice a day have higher rates of heart disease – no bacteria means less NO. Maybe i’ve got it all wrong
        Any links to nose breathing and NO ?
        Thanks

        Reply
        1. teedee126

          Mikeezeem, clearly, I need to look into this further, but just to be clear, he wasn’t suggesting “nose breathing.” That’s a different subject and the reason why some people have resorted to taping their mouths shut while they sleep, so that they *only* breathe through their nose. This doctor is saying it’s best to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth, which seems reasonable to me (but I will check out your contention that NO is formed in the mouth from food and bacteria. I was never one who thought mouthwash was a good idea, so I won’t have to worry about that–thx 🙂

          Reply
          1. Gary Ogden

            teedee126: That was the only part of the article which just didn’t make sense (exhaling through the mouth). I tried it for a few minutes, and decided it was a terrible idea. There is an indigenous group in Mexico who have long played a ball game. Kicking a ball, but without a field or boundaries. It could go on for days and many miles. These people are also adept marathoners, and, during the marathon, they never open their mouths except to drink. I think strictly nose breathing is best.

          2. teedee126

            Quite possibly, Gary. For me, I’m going to stick with my usual ‘nose only’ breathing when just puttering around or walking easy, but for steep hills and a strenuous hike, I’m not going to worry if I exhale through my mouth, while inhaling through my nose. Likewise for sleep, since I’ve heard from a number of people who have had panic attacks say they tried the mouth taping at night and woke up in the middle of a full-blown anxiety attack and ripped off the tape. I think I’ll just skip that one until I see more compelling reasons to change 😉

        2. teedee126

          mikeeezeem, I just did some preliminary reading and yes, nitrates in the mouth convert to nitrites, then into NO. It’s also found in the nasal passages and it seems that mouth breathing has a bad reputation for promoting gum disease, bad breath, etc. which can have an adverse affect on cardiovascular health, anxiety levels.. It also seems from what I’ve read so far that the NO in nasal passages is plentiful for the respiratory system and brain and that inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth seems to be the best of both worlds. Also, from personal experience, I know that when I used to experience anxiety, it was important to slow my breathing by inhaling through my nose to prevent hyperventilation and its accompanying side effects.

          Reply
  65. brainunwashed

    “The main point is why the bloody hell, how the bloody hell, did this man – and his group – come to hold so much sway.”
    Two words…….Bill Gates….. FACT not fake “news”

    Reply
  66. Tom Welsh

    Maybe the ultimate comment on this thread… Originally published in 2016, so the relevance is coincidental.

    “Myths are things that never happened, but always are”.
    – Symmachus

    Reply
  67. Tom Welsh

    Everyone who can spare 36 minutes really ought to see Andrew Mather’s latest presentation at https://youtu.be/SheiRcaPAtM.

    He does go through his slides very rapidly, but even without following all the mass of figures you will quickly get the drift. Statistically speaking, it is an open and shut case.

    1. Infectious disease cases and deaths normally follow something like a bell-shaped curve. Rates go up, and after a while they go down. They never go “sideways” for days or weeks on end. Yet some of the graphs for Covid-19 do exactly that – notably the USA and my own country, the UK. Almost as if someone had orders to keep the fire burning until… when?

    2. It would be reasonable for the peak of deaths to follow about 4-5 days to 2-3 weeks after the peak of cases. Yet in some countries the two peaks coincide, and in Denmark (from memory) the deaths peak came two days BEFORE the cases peak. As Mather says, people seem to have died before they become ill.

    3. The very worst-hit countries (according to official figures) are the USA, UK, Belgium, Holland… right next to the US, UK and EU HQs. Poor countries have barely been touched (whatever their climates).

    4. In the East, it looks like a different disease altogether. Some nations have zero percent infections, let alone deaths. Why?

    5. The USA has by far the most cases (1,570,583) and deaths (93,533). That’s 283 deaths per million people. Second in number of cases is Russia (299,941) – but only 2,837 deaths! That’s 19 per million people. Odd.

    Reply
    1. Martin Back

      Hospitals in the USA get $19,000 for every Covid patient admitted, and $39,000 for every patient they put on a ventilator. In addition, they are forbidden to perform elective surgeries, so Covid patients are about the only source of income for hospitals, which are mostly run to make a profit AFAIK.

      A cynic might say this is a perverse incentive to cram them in, ventilate them, and discharge them dead or alive as soon as possible to clear the beds for the next round. It pushes up the case and death rates, but at least you make a profit on volume.

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden.

        Martin Back: It is a perverse incentive, but is mainly a result of bureaucratic stupidity rather than anything nefarious. The economic system in the U.S. is so thoroughly warped to the advantage of the very wealthy that what might make sense to you or me in policy decisions rarely occurs. Hospitals are bleeding money because of the ‘Rona distortions, and this is not a good thing. For all their problems, they do a world of good, and they are filled with highly-skilled professionals. I rather doubt those professionals are basing treatment on an economic incentive, although the suits who run them may wish it. This will not end well.

        Reply
      2. Tom Welsh

        It certainly is true that you get what you reward. When an entire culture is based exclusively on the pursuit of money at all costs, with no other values at all, the outcome is… suboptimal.

        Reply
  68. Rick

    Wonderful illustration of groupthink and bias infesting the GOV, MSM and the ‘experts’. Thanks for this Dr K, as always your insights are appreciated and grounded in the reality rather than fantasy. Very much enjoying your Great Cholesterol Con book, it also illustrates group think and bias. When studying nutrition at a well known university, similar questions popped up to which the reply by lecturers was ‘…that we do not agree with the ‘consensus’ but have to teach and practice it, otherwise we will be disciplined or struck off the register”. This is not science it is dogma and we are seeing the dangers of dogma in the actions of a few with profound negative implications for the many.

    Reply
  69. Cón Ó Brolcháin

    The core of your argument is that the projected number can be derived from a simple equation. Deaths = Population * Infection Rate * Death Rate.
    And this should be approximately correct although you usually don’t know two of the variables in advance, bummer. However, it gives no indication of time. How long might the infection wave last? What’s the peak? What’s the shape of the death curve? Probably some poisson curve? Might there be more waves as with ‘Spanish’ Flu? It’s the time and curve shape that these models try to predict, not the simple integral of the function. That’s what’s needed for planning.

    Reply
      1. Cón Ó Brolcháin

        It’s better for planning as it predicts the growth, peak, and decline of the pandemic. It’s a mechanistic model which is a simplification of human behaviour. Such models have been used since Malaria was modelled and eliminated. The assumptions in the model were based on previous diseases such as Ebola and Zia but are no more than guesses. Remember that adage, all plans are worthless, but planning is essential. Also don’t swallow this lie about the code quality, especially the threaded/non threaded thing. It’s as believable as Mr Cummins trip to test his eyes. Code, if run under the same conditions ALWAYS does the same thing.

        Reply
        1. AhNotepad

          Mr Cummings had to drive to Barnard Castle, and stop in the woods. How else could he have judged whether he could see the wood for the trees?

          Reply
      2. Cón Ó Brolcháin

        We don’t have 3 unknowns. The population is known. The Infection Rate is 1-1/R0 and for COVID-19 R0 is over 3 leading to the 80% number (being cautious) and the mortality rate, with hindsight, is almost exactly right and was based on data from China. Also, it’s not just one mathematical modeller, there are other groups doing similar work and the modelling groups were a small subset (SPI-M) of the SAGE advisory group.
        The simple formula give you no indication of timescales and rates and that’s what you need for planning. That’s what these models give you.

        Also I’m curious as why Prof Ferguson’s lover being married is relevant here.

        Reply
        1. KJE

          How do we know the infection rate when hardly anyone has been tested and the tests are unreliable? We also don’t know how or where those allegedly infected were infected – one contact; numerous contacts; etc. We also don’t really know the death rate here when no autopsies are being carried out and, again, the tests are not reliable.

          Reply
          1. AhNotepad

            As Dilbert would say (paraphrasing) “That’s not how it works”.

            The facts are not relevant, as that would spoil the fairy story.

  70. Tish

    Yesterday lots of families and young surfers came to the beach as the surf was up and the skies were blue. They had to park in the roads because they haven’t opened the large car parks. They all went home with two penalty notices – one on each side of their cars – presumably for having one wheel on the pavement and one on the road with its yellow lines? Or for some other reason. Aren’t we becoming a lovely nation. Today, the sun is shining and the sky is blue and I’m about to walk on a pretty empty beach.

    Reply
    1. Tom Welsh

      “Aren’t we becoming a lovely nation”.

      When I was a child, WW2 was not very far in the rear-view mirror, and people were plain-spoken. Any official who behaved like that was routinely described as “a pocket Hitler”. Everyone knew what it meant, and no one took it amiss (except, perhaps, the official).

      As a schoolboy, I was perlexed – like many others – by the riddle of the “German character”. How could people who, not so very long before, were thought the very best, most cultured and educated, and moreover the most friendly and generous, suddenly turn into such violent monsters?

      I think we in Britain are getting a hint right now. As the lockdown continues, and the police and other official start to feel their strength and relish their power, many thousands of pocket Hitlers are combing down their forelock, checking their moustache, practicing their goose-step and working on their “special” salute.

      Give it another year and I would honestly not to be surprised to see formal concentration camps in this “green and pleasant land”.

      Reply
      1. Tish

        Yes Tom, it’s frightening. I have just been told there were 5 policemen and 3 traffic wardens (or the other way round) doing the work yesterday and that it was televised to get their point over – hence very few people enjoying the surf today. As I type we have another helicopter flying over.

        Reply
      2. teedee126

        I wouldn’t be surprised to see it in any number of countries for any number of reasons. Five years ago no one would have predicted that the U.S. would have its own version of “concentration camps’ for immigrants who committed a misdemeanor and tried to crossed the border. The children who were separated from their families may never see them again as it’s been admitted that paperwork has been ‘lost’ and children misplaced. It caused quite an outcry for a while, but as usual, distractions were unrelenting in order to let the whole thing die down while they languish behind bars. Where’s the Hague and Human Rights Tribunals when you need them?

        Reply
      3. Jean Humphreys

        Absolutely with you on the “pocket Hitler” syndrome. I remarked to my OH when the lockdown began that there must be oodles of young coppers wetting their knickers with excitement at the opportunities to be obnoxious to their betters.

        Reply
      4. Tom Welsh

        “Be careful what you share. Things aren’t always what they seem online.

        “Just because a story appears online, doesn’t mean it is true. The internet is great, but it can also be used to spread misleading news and content. Protect yourself and your friends from false information about coronavirus. Use the SHARE checklist to make sure you don’t feed the beast.

        “Discover the checklist”.

        https://sharechecklist.gov.uk/

        Reply
        1. AhNotepad

          Tom, thanks for that link. I will use it in future to check articles.

          To sum up:

          Source: if government probably half truth at best
          Headline: if government and alarmist, definitely suspect.
          Analyse: if it sounds unbelievable it might well be government spin. Check with 77th Brigade.
          Retouched: Watch out for videos plucked from Italian hospitals and presented as New York.
          Errors: Official guidance will always be carefully crafted to appear plausable.

          So the best thing is
          Source: check it is not government
          Headline: Probably misleading
          Institutions: Usually government agencies
          Test results what is the reliability, are tey appropriate. Think Tanzania.

          So it’s S-H-A-R-E to check for quality but could be S-H-I-T.

          Reply
    2. AhNotepad.

      Tish, because the authorities had closed the car parks, ie stolen civil liberties (for which many people had paid council tax), I hope many appeal against the notices, if enough do the authorities may back down as a result of bad publicity and legal expenses.

      Reply
      1. Tish

        A very good point Ah. Their reason for not opening the car parks is that they would have to open the toilets and they won’t do that because of germs!

        Reply
        1. Tish

          I wonder if people who are supporting and in the pay of those who might be pulling strings appreciate that when their work is done they will be cast aside to live under the same conditions as the rest of us, and that their children and grandchildren will suffer just as much.

          Reply
        2. teedee126

          Tish, in Niagara Falls, they kept the parks and parking lots open so that people could still enjoy them, but closed every public facing facility, including all the washrooms and even the porta-potties. I guess it was their way of limiting people who lived more than an hour or two away, while still allowing people who lived in NF to continue walking there. The thing is, while there aren’t quite as many people as usual, the numbers grow every time we visit and people are simply ducking behind bushes because of the lack of washrooms. Not sure that’s the kind of ‘fertilizer’ they want to encourage, so I hope they open the washrooms, soon 😉

          Reply
          1. Cheezilla

            If you only find out the washrooms are closed after a long drive to your destination, there’s going to be a problem.

          2. teedee126

            Yes, it’s downright wasteful (of one’s gas and time) to head out the door for any destination without checking their website for info and updates, first.

  71. Martin Back

    A predictive model is designed to answer the question, “IF this, THEN what?”

    For instance, “IF the UK schools open on 1 June, THEN the following will happen… [fill in the dots]”

    Ferguson’s much-maligned model is probably detailed enough to give an answer, although it might not be correct.

    Anyone else want to make a prediction?

    Reply
    1. AhNotepad

      There is no point in using a model that is going to give a probably wrong result, unless you are attempting to control the population by whatever means, for an undisclosed purpose, which is at least the intention of the UK government.

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        AhNotepad: Are you certain it is not sheer incompetence as opposed to ill intent? Or a mixture? On this side of the pond it sure seems like both.

        Reply
      2. Martin Back

        Let’s assume the government are decent people trying to do the right thing.

        They can’t just blindly take decisions, they have to consider what the results of their policies are likely to be, if only to have excuses ready should the whole scheme go kablooey and the public start asking questions. This means having some sort of model of what is going to happen. It might be a fuzzy mental model, or a spreadsheet, or a very complicated computer model, but they have to be sure they’ve considered all the relevant facts.

        Let’s see… open schools or leave till next year… that means a whole year of schooling lost… NO!… kids going to school…. and returning home… what public transport needs to be available… how many staff activated… how to protect kids on journey… what protective measures to apply at school for teachers and pupils… who supplies PPEs… one sitting or two to reduce crowding… how many will get infected at school and bring Covid home… likely increase in total infections… etc etc. A computer model would take care of some of the grunt work and allow various alternative scenarios to be considered quickly.

        We are going through the same exercise in South Africa. In our case we will start with the grade 12s in high schools and the grade 7s in primary schools, and progressively add more grades.

        Reply
        1. AhNotepad

          Total lockdown has never been done for any recent pandemic. The world carried on, and it is still here. This lockdown was done on the back of fear, and there is a document for the UK government, by “SAGE” that discusses how to generate the fear to force compliance. Do I think the cabinet is full of well meaning people? NO! They are mostly self serving, and they most certainly are not serving the people. They have totally screwed the economy, they should take the responsibility.

          Reply
          1. Fergl100

            But how would screwing the economy help any government? This doesn’t make any sense as its the economy that usually wins elections. Yes they have screwed the economy but out of ignorance not design.

          2. AhNotepad

            It’s been known for some years the world economy was running on ever increasing debt, and someday there would be a reckoning. This might be it. I would have thought there would be a better way to do it than destroying the social fabric as well. It may be a case of getting the wealth further into the hands of the few. I keep thinking of the futility of gold mining. You mine the gold, pollute the surroundings, impoverish the local population as they now have polluted land which will not grow crops, then take the gold away to a vault, so you can count it.

          3. Tom Welsh

            Fergl100, I think they are acting on a very short-term basis, rather like a deer caught in headlights. Their whole attention has been monopolised by the media uproar “We’re all going to die/Protect our precious NHS”, and they must consider repercussions from the greatest economic slump in 300 years to be something to think about “later”.

            My bet is that they will blame everything on “the virus” and do their best to represent it as a cross between the Emperor Ming and the Black Death.

          4. Jerome Savage

            Tom Stood in the queue yesterday to enter the supermarket. Looked behind, the lady looked at me, shook her head “terrible times” she said & looked away still shaking her head. “Terrible terrible” she went on. I suggested it was terrible for the old, trying to side step away from the doom mongering. She said yes, dont think she was really listening to me because almost immediate response referred to “whole populations” getting waylaid, or words to that effect. Trying to rationalise with what were probably scanned headlines digested, rumenated (on) and brought back up in glory gory detail would be interesting but likely a meaningless exercise. I tried tho, by suggesting it had hardly affected Australia – her eyes glazed over. The queue moved on.
            So thatz what politicians are dealing with !

      3. Tom Welsh

        Hoping that I am not being obnoxious by posting this link for the second time:

        https://assets.amuniversal.com/7f343ac0870a01332a13005056a9545d

        In the context of AhNotepad’s comment, I really do recommend clicking on it. As so often, “Dilbert” sums things up elegantly and rather crushingly.

        Some blog software allows one to post small images inline, so that they can be seen immediately without the need to click. This is one of those occasions when I would prefer that system.

        Reply
      4. Cón Ó Brolcháin

        To reduce the risk of an incorrect model you use multiple independent models to build confidence in the predictions. And as most countries followed the same policy, I’d imagine most pandemic models made the same sort of predictions. As for the undisclosed purpose, it was to manage a global pandemic. The UK government only controls public health policy in England by the way.

        Reply
    1. Terry Wright

      well Liz, as the expert that you are, please enlighten us on what we should be scared about now.

      (As the sky does seem to be brightening, it is important we all need to pull together and do whatever it takes to stay scared.)

      Reply
        1. AhNotepad

          ShirleyKate, if Terry wishes to use sarcasm, why does it lower the tone. I don’t see it does, and it is not blocked so can’t be that bad.

          Reply
  72. Cheezilla

    You might want to watch this recent interview with a different professor of epidemiology – before it disappears:

    Reply
    1. Tom Welsh

      Yes, very impressive. The only thing I had reservations about was, right at the end, the way she dismisses the “libertarian harangue” about ending lockdown. It seems as though she isn’t at all interested in human or legal rights, only in solving a medical problem. (But since we are interested in the medical problem, I suppose her political views are irrelevant).

      Reply
  73. Jerome Savage

    Irish Times today – “cocooning, advocated by government for all over-70s, largely served only to remove the four pillars that support good health in older people. These pillars are: (a) activities that maintain good mental/cognitive function; (b) maintaining good social contacts; (c) maintaining good exercise regimes and (d) healthy eating – as outlined by Doreen Rosenthal and Susan Moore in their book The Psychology of Retirement (2018).”
    Re cocooning for all over-70s:
    “This is unjustifiable, as explained by health adviser Camilla Cavendish in theFinancial Times earlier this month. For example, one study in the Journal of Applied Physiology of a group of septuagenarian joggers found they were 30 years biologically younger than their sedentary peers”
    “Such herding of older people must stop. Many lessons will be learned from our Covid-19 experience. The importance of older citizens reclaiming their autonomy must surely be one”
    William Reville emeritus biochemistry professor, UCC
    (Possible PW on link) https://www.irishtimes.com/news/science/blanket-cocooning-for-over-70s-has-done-more-harm-than-good-1.4254477?mode=amp

    Reply
  74. elizabethhart

    It’s all about the vaccine…
    Who do you think was calling the shots in this conversation?

    PM call with Bill and Melinda Gates: 19 May 2020
    The Prime Minister spoke to Bill and Melinda Gates today via video call. He was joined by Kate Bingham, Chair of the UK’s Vaccine Taskforce.
    They discussed the UK’s contribution to helping countries around the world tackle coronavirus and the important work of the Gates Foundation in this area.
    Both parties expressed their hope that a viable vaccine will be found as soon as possible.
    They also shared their commitment to the vital work of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and looked forward to the upcoming UK-hosted Global Vaccine Summit on June 4th.

    Reply
      1. AhNotepad

        Gates involvement is not a conspiracy theory, this from the horse’s mouth. Perhaps now the misinformation police will stop their false narrative. (Though I won’t hold my breath).

        Reply
    1. Göran Sjöberg

      Elizabeth,

      Thanks for the statistics in “Manufacturing Consensus”

      Here I read:

      In the week ending 17 April of this year alone there were 5,157 deaths of people aged 90 years and over in England and Wales, 3,413 of them attributed to COVID-19. Yet it’s on the basis of this increase of an average of 522 deaths per week this year out of a population of 56 million people in England and Wales that the Government has imposed the lockdown of the entire UK, the suspension of our civil liberties, and the removal of our legislature.

      To me this is craziness institutionalized.

      Reply
    2. Gary Ogden

      elizabethhart: Thank you for those links! Very important. Read through part of the first, and bookmarked them both for further perusal. Today is our hiking day, so I’m taking a vacation from the ‘Rona.

      Reply
  75. Tish

    Dietary advice from Bill Gates (2019)
    https://www.livekindly.co/bill-gates-says-eat-vegan/

    and probiotic therapy from him (2019)
    https://www.sciencealert.com/bill-gates-says-feeding-our-gut-bacteria-right-could-help-the-world-s-waistlines

    ‘Already, the Gates Foundation has invested in a macrobiotic powder for babies called Evivo. The powder is mixed into breast milk to help babies repair and improve their gut microbiome….Trials of Evivo in severely malnourished kids under 6 months started in Bangladesh last year.
    Another Gates Foundation-funded project at the Washington University School of Medicine is feeding special “microbiota-directed foods” to undernourished kids in Bangladesh too.
    Ideally, the Gates Foundation says, these fixes will one day be sold around the world for less than US$0.10 per dose.’

    https://store.evivo.com/products/evivo-starter-kit

    Reply
    1. KJE

      Well, maybe if Gates eats totally vegan, uses lots of wifi and takes all his vaccines, he’ll be removed from the planet soon and we’ll all be better off. Why does he spread disinformation about herbivorous animals – grass-fed ones are good for the environment and can reverse desertification. And manure fertilizes crops much more sustainably than chemicals. I suspect grazing animals contribute a lot less to pollution than the artificial meat factories that Billy boy invests in. Why do we need yet another probiotic? There are tons on the market already, including mother’s milk for babies. Who will rid me of this turbulent twit?

      Reply
      1. AhNotepad

        For an explanation of the details as to why herbivores are not such a problem as perceived, read Simon Fairlie’s book “Meat – A Benign Extravagance”. That and Lierre Keith’s book on veganism ought to be read by vegans before getting undernourished.

        Reply
  76. Tish

    Nice to be able to write something cheerful. The message about vitamin D might be getting through to care homes. My very elderly mother in a care home was taken out in the garden to sit in the sun for half an hour yesterday. She loved it.

    Reply
    1. teedee126

      Thanks for sharing that bit about your mum, Tish. Very happy for her. All our governments had better insist, through legislation, that keeping the elderly out of the fresh air and sunshine will not be tolerated. In fact, it will be regarded as elder abuse, just as bed sores are now.

      Reply
  77. barovsky

    Reality Check:
    https://climateandcapitalism.com/2020/05/21/deadly-combinations-of-heat-and-humidity/

    Deadly combinations of heat and humidity increasing worldwide
    ‘Previous studies projected that this would happen several decades from now, but this shows it’s happening right now’

    Climate & Capitalism recently reported a study that predicts large parts of the earth will be too hot for human habitation within 50 years. Another new study, reported below, shows that unprecedented bouts of heat and humidity are already causing deadly conditions for short periods of time, and are increasing in frequency and intensity.

    by Kevin Krajick
    Columbia University Earth Institute

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      I don’t remember which side you are on climate issues, but unfortunately I think Ferguson has illustrated just how useless academic studies have become. I don’t think the climate studies you link to are believable, nor do I think that the temperature data they use is itself reliable.

      Maybe the world needs to detox from useless academic studies like this.

      One way to solve the dilemma would be to used matched teams one trying to prove that CO2 is a problem, and another trying to prove the opposite.

      Reply
      1. Tom Welsh

        “Maybe the world needs to detox from useless academic studies like this”.

        There is a lot of truth in that. The problem, as I see it, is that science ceased – a long time ago – to be an impartial search for truth, or even a benevolent search for ways to help people, and became another rat-race in pursuit of money, promotion and distinction.

        One need look no further than Ancel Keys as a very talented and able scientist who found a bandwagon that he could ride to fame and fortune. He may well have known (or strongly suspected) that much of what he was claiming was untrue. But he seems to have kept right on claiming that saturated fat was deadly, and thus that people must avoid red meat, eggs and dairy.

        Keys clashed publicly with many honest scientists, including the Englishman Dr John Yudkin (author of “Pure, White and Deadly”) who prposed the alternative theory that it was sugar that harmed people’s health most. Keys trashed Yudkin’s reputation with the most appallingly cynical ad-hominem attacks – which Yudkin calmly ignored without ever retaliating in kind.

        Looking around today, one can see scores of the Keys type – while they are not the only ones who become rich, famous and consulted by governments, they do tend to predominate in those ways.

        And then there are the far greater numbers of honest scientists who work away, continually having to choose between their principles and the need to keep their jobs.

        Like most of our other ills, this situation is directly attributable to capitalism and the rule of cash. It seems grotesque that, as a species, we do not have the means to invest substantially in research that would help us to survive and remain healthy. Yet, instead, we have our scientific, pharmaceutical, “food”, agricultural and medical industries – each one run almost purely for profit.

        See, for example, https://architectsforsocialhousing.co.uk/2020/04/23/good-morning-coronazombies-diary-of-a-bio-political-crisis-event/

        Reply
        1. teedee126

          John Yudkin was persecuted beyond all human decency, but his name is well known to those of us who chose ‘his’ side of the debate over Keyes’. I am forever grateful to Yudkin for his research and wish he were here to witness the changing tide in his favour.

          Reply
          1. Tom Welsh

            Yes, he seems to have been a fine English gentleman, and a highly conscientious doctor and scientist. Like Dr Kendrick, he never exaggerated or made claims beyond what the evidence would support.

        2. David Bailey

          Based on a certain amount of personal experience plus the experiences of others that I know, I would say that academic science has pretty much gone to the dogs – thought it still has a few good patches left.

          Think for a moment about computer models. These are used to model galaxies, the entire universe, and lots of smaller things. They each contain so many parameters that are tuned that they could probably fit just about any experimental results – so they are worthless.

          I believe in the science produced before roughly 1960, and I believe in any subsequent science that has generated gadgets (solid state physics) but I begin to think that one day people will have to flush out most more recent scientific papers as just too unreliable.

          Reply
          1. Martin Back

            The weather report is pretty useful if you need to plan for a week or so ahead. In fact, any sort of plan depends on a forecast of what might happen, and forecasts are based on models, so you can’t avoid them.

          2. Tom Welsh

            “As a scientist I make a sharp distinction between models and theories. A theory is a construction, built out of logic and mathematics, that is supposed to describe the actual universe that we live in. A model is a construction that describes a much simpler universe, including some features of the actual universe and neglecting others. Theories and models are both useful tools for understanding nature. They are useful in different ways, and it is important to keep the difference in mind. A theory is useful because it can be tested by comparing its predictions with observations of the real world. On the other hand, a theory may be useless because its consequences are too complicated to be predicted. A model is useful because its behaviour is simple enough to be predicted and understood. On the other hand, a model may be useless because it leaves out too much and loses any connection with reality. As we explore the universe, we move out from well-trodden ground into the unknown. On well-trodden ground we build theories. On the half-explored frontier we build models”.

            – Freeman J. Dyson, “The Sun, the Genome, and the Internet” p. xiv

    2. Terry Wright

      Hi barovsky; it is curious that the alarmist words you quote are just what we have been assailed with incessantly over our chum, the rona virus.

      Some of us on this forum discovered the cholesterol con: CC: with much help from Dr K.
      Independently, some of us then discovered the climate change con: CCC
      and this year, we have discovered the coronavirus con: CVC

      It is due to a sensing device in our nostrils called the Bull-S**t-Detector

      Reply
      1. Ian Partington

        Terry, re. The B-S detector: never a truer word has been written! We , the sheeple, must wake up and not just blindly accept all of the official lines rammed down our throats! To borrow a phrase, “Fight the Power!”

        Reply
  78. AhNotepad

    Found on a video https://youtu.be/iPD4ctGC6v8

    A comment by Malcolm Buckley:

    The next wave of viral infection is coming towards us. So far only a few people are infected, but the virus seems to have mutated and spreads from different countries – faster than ebola.

    The system-threatening virus has been termed WAKING-UP FLU. It leads to a sudden clarity of mind and awareness in the here and now.

    It begins fairly harmlessly with ingestion of organic whole foods and turmeric, followed by a strong aversion to mass media. The symptoms then develop into compassionate unified consciousness, and a deep connection to ones own soul and spirit – resulting in a hitherto unknown freedom from fear. The final stage is unconditional love and gratitude towards creation.

    Traditional means of treating this ilness such as chemtrails, mass vaccinations, threats of a crash of the stock market, or wars seem to be completely without effect.
    The dark power elite doesn’t know what to do! The world health organisation has given this new virus a warning category because it might change life on Earth fundamentally for the better. The WHO event sent a message to 7 billion earthlings: “stay safe, stay in your matrix”, but this had no effect either.
    Experts call this virus the TRUTH VIRUS, and it’s highly infectious.
    To avoid catching it you must radically avoid contact with independently thinking and responsibly acting human beings.
    There is even a suspicion the virus may be passed on telepathically. Latest research has finally revealed the complete pathway of transmission; this illness often begins by reading this decoded message – with an incubation period of a few milliseconds.
    A warm welcome to freedom! Our number grows day by day.

    Reply
  79. Tom Welsh

    “COVID-19 could be a tenth as deadly as the flu in America: Stanford Med professors”
    https://www.thecollegefix.com/covid-19-could-be-a-tenth-as-deadly-as-the-flu-in-america-stanford-med-professors/

    “COVID-19 Lethality Not Much Different Than Flu, Says New Study”
    https://reason.com/2020/04/17/covid-19-lethality-not-much-different-than-flu-says-new-study/

    Scientists seem to be gradually moving towards “consensus” about the lethality of Covid-19. Please note that I am suggesting that consensus is a particularly scientific concept – it doesn’t prove anything – but if the numbers are now emerging to support the plausible and intuitive belief that the two diseases are about on a par, so much the better.

    Which raises some other issues. It is certainly illegitimate for politicians to try to scrape off the blame for their appallingly bad decisions on “The Science” – let alone individual scientists. Not only does the buck stop with the Cabinet; they did not have to choose Ferguson as their only source of scientific advice. There are literally scores of others who would have done far better.

    But perhaps we can now ask why, six months after the epidemic began – and perhaps a good deal longer – it has taken so very long to ascertain the infection rate, the asymptomatic rate, and the lethality. And why are both the tests in use (PCR and serological) quite unfit for purpose? They are both grossly inaccurate, even when carried out correctly by experienced personnel under ideal conditions.

    Thos may be tasks for scientists – but why didn’t politicians ask them to do the work six, four, three or even two months ago? They seem perfectly content to pay out large sums of our money for vaccines that have not even been created yet, let alone tested. Yet they could not cope with the far simpler and more essential task of providing reliable tests.

    Reply
    1. Tom Welsh

      “Please note that I am suggesting that consensus is a particularly scientific concept …”

      Alas and dammit! Of course I meant

      “Please note that I am NOT suggesting that consensus is a particularly scientific concept…”

      Reply
    2. David Bailey

      I think politicians should have told the epidemiologists that since they did not agree, there was no rational grounds for using their advice at all. They should therefore have continues to treat the infection as bad flu unless/until there was some agreement among the epidemiologists as to what to do.

      Reply
    3. Fergl100

      Ive read that the risk of dying after catching covid virus is the same as your overall risk of dying anyway in those under 55 years old. Badly put, but it means that if you are under 55 and get the virus your risk of dying in the next month has only doubled, obviously from a very low risk. Those over 70 the risk as everyone knows is far higher. The difference between covid and seasonal flu is this dramatic age difference plus the fact it is much more transmissable leading to the terrible increase in death of the elderly especially in care homes.

      Reply
  80. Christine Gaskill

    Thank you for your insightful pieces. Please can you tell me the medical rational behind contact tracing at this late stage in the epidemic? I’m trying to understand why we need contact tracing now that the virus has almost past.
    Thank you.
    Christine

    Reply
    1. Terry Wright

      Thanks Christine;

      “the medical rational behind contact tracing at this late stage”

      there can be none Christine; it is surely just the power-crazy who are now addicted to mad and oppressive powers, and can no longer give up this arbitrary power: it is strongly than crack cocaine and it drives them more crazy than methamphetamine.

      Reply
    2. andy

      Hi Christine: why we need contact tracing
      Suppose lockdown has eliminated the virus globally. What if there is one person left with the virus, the whole thing can start up again. Finding that one person is the key to preventing another pandemic. Elementary logic.

      Reply
      1. AhNotepad

        andy, you are correct, elementary logic and simple to understand. As Mencken said, “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong”. Oops!

        Reply
      2. Tom Welsh

        Your analysis would make sense, andy, if any virus could be “eliminated”. To my knowledge, smallpox is the only virus – out of tens of thousands of known ones and literally millions of unknown ones – that has ever been “eliminated” – and even that still exists in some government labs. (Why?)

        When an individual is infected with SARS-CoV-2, that means the number of virus in that person’s body has risen to a level at which our very poor tests can recognise its presence. It is quite possible that everyone in the UK has some of the virus in them – just not enough to trigger the PCR test.

        When that person falls ill due to the virus, it is because the virus has multiplied many, many times and is then capable of putting up a fight against the immune system.

        When, as usually happens, the immune system wins the fight, significant amounts of virus material remain in the body. As long as it is no longer able to harm the body as a whole, that’s fine. That’s why people who have been ill with the virus and recovered can still test positive.

        The virus does not live outside the human body. It may be present here and there, but it is inactive until it enters a human body. Since the immune system does not hunt down and “kill” every last virus particle, anyone who has been infected probably retains traces of the virus – perhaps for the rest of their life.

        So the way the virus ceases to be an acute threat is not when it has been “eliminated”, but when most people’s immune systems are ready to suppress it as soon as it reaches significant levels.

        Reply
        1. andy

          Hi Tom: you are right, I was illustrating the extreme impractical lockdown case. There is no mention presently about flattening the curve or hospital capacity.The daily news is only about the number of infections and deaths. Testing and tracing is now the priority. Lockdown is “the government” antidote until an approved cure is developed. In the meantime the virus will keep spreading and mutating until some sort of natural immunity is achieved in the population.

          Something else of interest: how does the virus spread to other organs beyond the lungs?
          Normally this should not happen because the virus and the glycocalyx both have a negative charge and the virus will be confined within the bloodstream. Only way for virus to infect a cell will be if glycocalyx is destroyed and the virus can contact and bond to an endothelial cell. Inflammation and tight junction loss will set the stage for further infection of other tissues and other effects such as coagulation.

          Healthy alveolar epithelial cells also have a glycocalyx (mucus) barrier that can be destroyed by air pollution and macrophage activity. If endothelium is healthy, other organs will not be affected.

          Not a scientist, these are opinions for discussion.

          Reply
    3. LA_Bob

      Hi, Christine.

      In this era of “death lurks around every corner”, the Powers That Be want us to know they’ve left no stone un-turned in their effort to convince us they have “kept us safe”. If deaths start rising in the future, they want us to know they’ve done “everything humanly possible” so they can remain Powers That Be.

      Just CYA basically.

      Reply
    1. Jerome Savage

      So they ran Ferguson’s model on Sweden – I thought nobody knew what his model was ?
      Unless you just take Ferguson’s various death predictions for the UK & reduce it in accordance with Swedens lower population !

      Reply
      1. Terry Wright

        …….em Jerome …….. urrr ……………. ahem …….. um ……………………….

        …….. if you click on the link in the above post, it opens up and gives details ……… critique away ..

        Reply
  81. David McAlonan


    PCR test inconclusive. people recovered can still test positive, So, it’s ok for ‘old’ RNA material to be valid IF you recovered. But not if you are early diagnosed/suspected.

    Reply
  82. Tom Welsh

    “Coronavirus has mutated into at least 30 different strains, Chinese study finds”
    https://nypost.com/2020/04/21/coronavirus-has-mutated-into-at-least-30-different-strains-study/

    ‘More than 30 different mutations of the virus were detected, of which 19 were previously undiscovered.

    ‘“Sars-CoV-2 has acquired mutations capable of substantially changing its pathogenicity,” Li wrote in the paper…

    ‘Li’s team found that some of the most aggressive strains of the virus were able to generate 270 times the viral load of the weakest strains; in addition, the aggressive strains killed the human cells fastest.

    ‘According to their findings, the “true diversity” of the viral strains is underappreciated and must be understood in order to find a treatment or vaccine’.

    Reply
    1. Tom Welsh

      And on Slashdot today:

      “America’s CDC and 11 States Erroneously Conflated Two Kinds of Coronavirus Tests”
      https://news.slashdot.org/story/20/05/23/2152208/americas-cdc-and-11-states-erroneously-conflated-two-kinds-of-coronavirus-tests

      “We’ve learned that the CDC is making, at best, a debilitating mistake: combining test results that diagnose current coronavirus infections with test results that measure whether someone has ever had the virus…
      “But thanks to the CDC, we have a problem that is even worse: No only do we not know what is going to happen, but we don’t know what is happening”.

      Reply
    1. Fergl100

      Ok. HCQ doesnt seem to work. In fact possibly makes things worse. Lots and lots of people have been put on this by doctors and lots more self medicating. This is what happens when hype overtakes sensible caution.

      Reply
      1. Tom Welsh

        HCQ is a very powerful drug, and like all drugs it has side-effects. Depending on your health and genetic makeup, those side-effects may include death.

        As far as I know (having no medical qualifications myself), no one should dream of taking such a drug without (at the very least) medical advice. Probably it is appropriate only for those who are likely to die without urgent treatment, and for whom some risk is therefore acceptable.

        Anyone who might have the genetic G6PD deficiency should probably avoid HCQ. See https://off-guardian.org/2020/05/13/covid19-a-case-for-medical-detectives/

        Reply
      2. teedee126

        I don’t have a solid bias for or against its use at this point, Fergl; I’m just trying to keep an open mind about the whole subject. Like most people, I’m finding that the time is ripe to practice what I tend to preach about striving to look at both sides of any important issue. I started off, as some here know, being very neutral about vaccination, but I now lean much more toward being very much against them. I can’t say that I’m 100% against it in *all* situations, but I can’t say I’ll ever want another vaccination again in my lifetime, either.

        Reply
      3. Anna M

        I don’t believe the article. There have been at least one or two bogus studies that I know of. But actual doctors who have use it report extremely good success.

        Reply
    2. Roger

      Too much bias in the article to prove anything other that the fact the article is biased against a drug which has proven successful in both the prevention and treatment of Malaria and for decades. Yes, it has side effects, but not that serious.
      Suspect excess mortality in those prescribed the drug was due to mechanical ventilation.

      Reply
      1. teedee126

        Roger, thanks for your input. I must say I find it interesting to watch how our personal standards operate when faced with an opposing view to our own. In this case, while the original study that caused Trump to get so excited about HCQ, has been criticized for being poorly done (not that that means its conclusions are wrong, mind you) but I see few proponents changing their minds about its use. However, when a study comes out that shows there may have been some level of hype involved, that study is the one that is labelled ‘biased’, which just proves (to me, at least) that we all see things a little differently when it confirms our own biases. By the way, did the article from the Lancet mention patients having mechanical ventilation? I may have to go back and read it again, since I don’t recall seeing it mentioned.
        That said, I want to repeat that the jury is still out on hcq treatment, in many circles, so I include this just to practice keeping an open mind on the subject. Personally, I would be happy to know that these treatments can ease suffering and save lives without adding to poor outcomes in the short or long term: https://retractionwatch.com/2020/04/06/hydroxychlorine-covid-19-study-did-not-meet-publishing-societys-expected-standard/

        Reply
        1. Anna M

          Something that impresses me is a few doctors who have implemented HCQ have reported pretty amazing results.

          Reply
          1. teedee126

            “Something that impresses me is a few doctors who have implemented HCQ have reported pretty amazing results.”
            Anna, yes, there are likely quite a few doctors who have reported pretty amazing results or who believe it’s capable of producing very good results in Covid-19 patients, including our own Dr. Kendrick, who has remarked at how good it is. That’s why I’ve never taken a stand against its use and would tell my doctor to try it (or anything else he could think of) if I had one of the severe cases. I’ve simply avoided being ‘certain’ of its efficacy, as well as its short and long term safety when discussing it. I’m just trying to get the most accurate picture of it by seeing what its proponents and opponents have to say about its use.

          2. Gary Ogden

            teedee126: As I understand it, HCQ has been shown to be effective if used very early (in the first five or six days of symptoms), but not later, in severe infection. The Brazilian doctor’s letter explains this.

  83. JDPatten

    Take a spare week-end hour and risk that you might (Might!) experience a small tweak in your outlook(s).
    Be patient. Give it all a good think.

    Reply
    1. teedee126

      In keeping with the discussions we have on here regarding science, as well as our own–very human–inclination toward confirmation bias, I found this article to be a good reminder to keep striving for balance and looking for evidence or opinions that would dispute my own opinions. Maybe it’s just me, but I like being reminded that the easiest person to fool is myself, as Richard Feynman once reminded us. I also remember that my favorite exercise in Sociology class was when we had to debate/argue against our own position on a significant ideology, eg. if you were pro-choice, you had to argue for the anti-choice side, etc. I found it extremely revealing and helpful. This article is titled, “The Importance of Red Teams”
      https://peterattiamd.com/the-importance-of-red-teams/

      Reply
  84. Jerome Savage

    I sometimes need a break from the level of detail, data, opinions and all the jargon, medical
    statistics that permeates this blog. Dr Kendrick I have no idea how you can keep with this and manage it, act as peacemaker, make sure no one slips in a libellous comment etc . I would imagine you could do with a break. We are all human. I’d be very concerned that you might lose your sense of humour – horrors of holy horrors !

    Reply
  85. Göran Sjöberg

    I liked the graph Malcolm showed a while ago that people with proper levels of vitamin-D were overwhelmingly less affected by a Corona infection. That also tells me that the “risk” can be monitored efficiently by cheap means.

    That the medical establishment is totally uninterested in this fact confirms my belief that it is a totally corrupt establishment.

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      Göran ,

      Yes indeed, and one of the articles on the subject ended with a doctor saying that this should not mean that people dose themselves with vitamin D, but it might help in research for a new drug to treat CV-19! It was terrible to make such a comment in the middle of an epidemic!

      Of course they should use Vit D to help them fight this! Presumably even the nurses and care workers, who are obviously at greater risk, are not encouraged to take this simple measure!

      Reply
  86. Dr. John H

    Malcolm,
    I would love it if you would post about whether masks, gloves, and social distancing do any good.
    Thanks!

    Reply
      1. Dr. John H

        Thanks Terry. I know the WHO is not recommending masks for the public now, though the document you posted says they would in a severe situation (even though they say there is no evidence they work):

        “Face masks worn by asymptomatic people are conditionally recommended in severe epidemics or pandemics, to reduce transmission in the community. Although there is no evidence that this is effective in reducing transmission, there is mechanistic plausibility for the potential effectiveness of this measure. A disposable surgical mask is recommended to be worn at all times by symptomatic individuals when in contact with other individuals. Although there is no evidence that this is effective in reducing transmission, there is mechanistic plausibility for the potential effectiveness of this measure.”

        So, if masks don’t work, why do healthcare workers wear them?

        Reply
        1. teedee126

          Good question, John, but there’s a lot of CYA that goes on, which seems to do little else than muddy the waters, so we never really get a straight answer from the powers that be.

          Reply
          1. AhNotepad

            Masks won’t help now, the virus is already everywhere, and healthy people won’t suffer. Ivor Cummings pointed out that politicians will continue with lockdown as their ratings go up, then down if there is a hint of lifting restrictions. The facts do not matter while fear gets them ratings. https://youtu.be/DRL_Mgiu_uc

          2. andy

            Hi Ah: masks could be beneficial if properly regulated
            It now appears that everyone will be required to wear a mask in public. My suggestion is that the WHO and CDC should mandate colour coded masks. Red for symptomatic and tested positive, yellow for recovered and with antibodies, white for symptom free and tested negative, purple for symptom free but untested, and black for people who don’t give a damn.
            This system should be integrated with weekly mandatory testing when the appropiate mask is issued. Each mask could have an imbedded microchip for tracking and monitoring the spread of the pandemic. Masks will be with us for a very long time even if mandatory vaccination is implemented. This system will have benefits even if masks are proven to be ineffective in reducing spread of covid-19.

          3. AhNotepad

            Well the wheels are cumming off the bus, how do you think they are going to force people to wear masks. My blood oxygen level will go down, how many changes of masks a day? Forget it. Not happening here.

    1. Tom Welsh

      Glorious. Dr Coleman really is a lovely man, and although he is so very pleasant and modest, he actually knows a great deal about medicine and nutrition.

      I have a copy of his book “How To Stop Your Doctor Killing You”, which I bought because of the splendid title but actually found to be packed with useful facts and figures (not allowed on Youtube).

      It’s one of three books I have on that self-same topic – all of them, curiously, written by very experienced and highly qualified doctors.

      Reply
      1. Tom Welsh

        I have just received a copy of Coleman’s book “Anyone Who Tells You Vaccines Are Safe and Effective is Lying” from Amazon. Printed by Amazon, it is tall, broad and quite thin – 71 pages according to the Amazon Web page, although apparently Amazon have decided to do without page numbers – a decision that puts publishing back about 600 years. Anyway it looks as if you could read it easily in a day, or maybe a half day.

        What really astonished me was to read this:

        Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,113 in Books…
        #3 in Children’s Vaccination & Immunisation

        2,113 in books is really quite remarkable. Obviously a whole lot of people want to inform themselves; and either trust Coleman as a reliable source or, at any rate, liked the title of the book.

        The other interesting aspect is the reviews: 66 so far, averaging 4.3/5. The good reviews are fairly predictable, but I always look at the 1-star reviews (the lowest Amazon lets you give). They often tell me more than any other information about a book.

        My favourite 1-star review, which I did find very helpful, was this:

        “I have not bought this book nor would I ever buy any works this author writes. His views are not only wrong but extremely dangerous. There is no link between vaccines and autism and as to the title please note that smallpox, a major killer a century ago, has no been totally wiped out in the wild due to vaccines and there are numerous other diseases that we are now safe from. He fits in with the brave new world of alt/truth. Please don’t fill this man’s pockets”.

        Apparently the writer of the review KNOWS that “There is no link between vaccines and autism” – a courageous claim, as most scientists consider it impossible to prove such a negative assertion.

        One would not expect such a reviewer to have read even one page of the book – or, indeed, to have seen a copy – but Coleman does provide generous and convincing counter-arguments. He points out, for example, that “One of the worst smallpox epidemics of all time took place in England between 1870 and 1872 – nearly two decades after compulsory vaccination was introduced”. The same seems to be true of most infectious diseases, notably polio, whose incidence fell dramatically even in the USA a decade or two before the first vaccine was released.

        Showing his laid-back humour – rather like Dr Kendrick’s – Coleman concludes the section thus:

        “As a postscript I should mention that when Louis XV contracted smallpox he is said to have survived only because his nurse hid him from the doctors who had killed his father and brother with their ‘treatments’. Wise nurse”.

        Reply
        1. Tom Welsh

          Having read the book (copyright 2014) non-stop this afternoon, while enjoying the sunshine in my back garden, I can say that I found it very well written and quite compelling. Dr Coleman points out that, as he has been a pariah for many years – who cannot appear in the media, be interviewed or even quoted – if any of the facts and figures he cites were wrong, he would have been sued or even struck off. That has not happened.

          His final conclusion is that, while there may be some exceptions, vaccines are never the best answer and should be avoided. From what he says some vaccines have caused quite a lot of deaths and even more injuries, without even providing the protection they promise.

          It seems to be the familiar syndrome: once having publicly endorsed vaccines, politicians cannot be seen to admit they were wrong, so they double down again and again.

          My only issue with Dr Coleman is that he claims meat causes cancer, which I find most unlikely. But as he seems to be an animal lover and has campaigned vigorously against vivisection (good for him!) his vegetarianism may be essentially principled.

          Reply
        2. AhNotepad

          Tom, thanks. I’ve just ordered a couple of copies of this subversive misinformation. Then we can ensure others can’t get brainwashed by it.

          Reply
    1. Sylvia Brooke

      How on earth he managed to read that with a straight face I will never know. I needed a bit of light relief this morning, and that certainly gave me some. Fantastic. Thanks Tish. Have a good day.

      Reply
  87. David Bailey

    A snippet from the Daily Telegraph:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/23/lockdown-saved-no-lives-may-have-cost-nobel-prize-winner-believes/

    Lockdown caused more deaths than it saved, a Nobel laureate scientist said on Saturday, as he predicted the UK would emerge from Covid-19 within weeks.

    Michael Levitt, a Stanford University professor who correctly predicted the initial trajectory of the pandemic, sent messages to Professor Neil Ferguson in March telling the influential government advisor he had over-estimated the potential death toll by “10 or 12 times”.

    The Imperial College professor’s modelling, a major factor in the Government’s apparent abandoning of a so-called herd-immunity policy, was part of an unnecessary “panic virus” which spread among global political leaders, Prof Levitt now tells the Telegraph.

    Prof Levitt, a British-American-Israeli who shared the Nobel prize for chemistry in 2013 for the “development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems”, has said for two months that the planet will beat coronavirus faster than most other experts predict.

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      JDPatten: Thanks. Interesting read of thoughtful thoughts. But…not every day is the same here! Friday we took a six-hour hike in the giant Sequoias (impossible to close this park, as there is private land, including some resorts, behind the gate; the sign says, “open to thru traffic only,” which I took to mean all traffic). Yesterday we drove to the foothills to visit my cousin, who is recuperating from a motorcycle accident. So, coping by sunny disposition and getting out of Dodge frequently. I am so totally sick and tired of the stupid masks (now a requirement for shopping in loony-tunes California) that my bank account is steadily accumulating. Twice a month gobs of eggs and other necessities. !00 degrees today, 109 predicted for Thursday. These are the times when the 365-day-a-year pool maintenance is worthwhile.

      Reply
  88. Terry Wright

    when I saw the graphs in this article

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1282368/coronavirus-uk-scientists-deaths-october-december-china-wuhan-pandemic-ons-data-spt

    that show how steady the death rates average out to be; over many years;

    I was struck how huge the differences are in age-ranges; that might seem the same; so for the years 2001-2019, the 75-79 age group had about a fifth of the standardised mortality of 90yrs and over; we are continually incited to be “outraged” and “frothing” and “incensed” at things that are natural; the older you are, the more likely you are to die; cue outrage, perhaps incensed condemnation, and forthright vitriolic rage.

    we all need to print out these charts; put them on our walls and look at them regularly. Thanks to the paper for showing what is ONS data.

    Reply