Whitehall – heaving with two (!) new CV-19 cases!
Yesterday’s news, the ‘CV-19 war games’ proposals leaked to ‘our MSM’ for Sunday were bad enough. Today’s ‘news’ illustrate that none of those who lord it over us understand what their reports, articles and pronouncements from lecterns and in TV studios actually mean for our daily lives.
Today we’re told with great fanfare that there’s a new ‘game changer’: two new testing machines which mean everybody can be tested and have the result ‘within 90 minutes’. Well, that’s nice, innit! This accelerated testing for everybody means government now has another pillar on which to base their ‘sophisticated’ shielding edicts. It’s positively heroic:
“Entire cities will be tested for Covid to contain local outbreaks using on-the-spot tests that give results in just 90 minutes. […] Ministers believe the revolutionary new tests, which can be processed by portable machines, will see off the danger of another national lockdown by enabling them to test everyone living in towns or cities where there is an outbreak, swiftly isolating those who have the virus.” (paywalled link)
Well – no! This means that with more tests more ‘cases’ will be detected and thus there will be more local lockdowns, as we’ve just seen for Northern England. It’s beside the point to ask if herding people, especially the newly ‘shielded’, to ‘pop-up’ test centres, won’t create new infections, and not just of CV-19. Those tests will be capable of testing for all sorts of viruses:
“The tests can detect flu as well as Covid, meaning people who have Covid-like symptoms will know whether they are suffering from the more common illness and can avoid self-isolating. […] patients can follow the right advice to protect themselves and others.” (paywalled link)
Does this mean people with flu can go out and spread the flu virus because it’s ‘less deadly’ than CV-19? Or does this mean that you need to be tested for every sniffle before being allowed out, mask or not? I wonder how our ‘Zoom surgeries’ will be able to cope with that! So far, sneezing into your smartphone or laptop doesn’t tell your Zoom GP what ails you.
Sadly, the plans for keeping people over 50 (50 is now the new ‘old) in lockdown appear to have been well developed. It doesn’t really matter that there’s a backlash:
“Tory MPs and business leaders warned that telling over-50s to stay at home risks damaging the economy and runs contrary to Boris Johnson’s plea to get workers back to the office.” (paywalled link)
They’ll be told that the economy would be far more damaged should a ‘2nd wave’ demand a national Lockdown! Yesterday I thought that the leak from those ‘war games’ in Cabinet were a trial balloon for the government, to gauge how far they can go. It now looks as if they’ve already prepared well in advance for restricting our freedom, given this bald sentence in the DT report: “Lists of those at risk will be based on medical records held by the NHS.” (paywalled link)
Patient confidentiality, that sacred mantra preventing us peasants from finding out from ‘Our NHS’ what was wrong with our loved ones, is worthless when government says so. It gets even more sinister:
“Downing Street is investigating plans for a targeted Covid-19 risk register that could lead to more middle-aged people being asked to shield themselves in the event of a second wave of infection. Under proposals being drawn up for “flexible” lockdowns, the government is looking into whether the latest scientific evidence on those at most risk of serious illness can be incorporated into a new larger risk register.” (link, paywalled)
A ‘government risk register’? Will there be only this one, or will ‘government registers’ proliferate, for all sorts of other conditions? Thin edge of the wedge and all that … ! There’s more, showing that the ‘sophisticated approach’ to determine who must ‘shield’, as leaked by the war gamers yesterday, is in fact no such thing. That ‘sophistication’ is simply the harvesting of patient data from the NHS:
“The government is understood to be looking at whether it can use existing NHS information to draw up a more accurate list of people of all ages who are at highest risk of Covid-19.” (link, paywalled)
‘Looking at’ means they’re already working this out. It is obvious to me that this exercise must have been planned for some time. Moreover, remember that there were ‘thoughts’ of locking London inside the M25? See this:
“Without fanfare the government has already given itself the power in law to prevent people from moving in and out of areas in lockdown except for a small number of exceptional circumstances. These powers could be enforced by the police. Yesterday it was reported that in the case of a London-wide lockdown areas could be defined by the M25, with all but essential travel banned in and out of the area.” (link, paywalled)
Am I a conspirationalist when I think that the suspension of Parliament and the HoC has been utilised by ‘government’ to grab this power without scrutiny? I also wonder how come this power isn’t being used to send back all those rubber-dinghy ‘visitors’ who cross the Channel. And: might government actually use the Army to ‘enforce’ those powers?
To round this up, there were two articles on ‘data’. One was on the Northern England Lockdown, by Professor Henegan, Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford. He pointed out in the DT that the test results on which government had based their decision were skewed – a polite, scientific way of saying ‘bovine excrement’:
“Between July 22 and July 29 the seven day rolling average of reported cases jumped between those two dates from 659 to 753 – 16.7 per cent. However when judged by specimen date the seven day rolling average actually dropped from 641 to 442, a 31 per cent decrease. Any rise is also being skewed by a general increase in testing. The seven-day rolling average for tests carried out between July 22 and July 29 jumped from 137,427 to 153,252 – an 11.5 per cent increase, wiping out much of the increase. “Why is no one checking this out at government level?,” added Prof Heneghan” (paywalled link)
Meanwhile The Times, in their zeal to keep fear & hysteria going, reports some shock horror numbers, e.g. “As of July 31 there were 303,181 recorded cases and 46,119 deaths in the UK — a daily increase of 880 cases and 120 deaths.” (link, paywalled) but actually mentions that the way of counting cases has been changed since July, from just those tested in hospitals to include all tests in the wider population.
They also mention but don’t query the way CV-19 deaths are recorded, they don’t mention that PHE adds numbers to those coming from actual hospitals – LockdownSceptics keeps pointing this out – and then acknowledge:
“While the number of deaths [i.e.CV-19 deaths] has started to fall it will take much longer for them to return to levels considered normal than it did for them to rise to their peak.“ (link, paywalled)
Never mind that the national rate of all deaths has been below the 5-year average for the last weeks. Don’t ask what can be considered ‘normal’ when this virus only appeared here at the beginning of the year! Keep being frightened!
I leave you with a staggering revelation which comes under ‘jaw-hits-floor’:
“Civil servants are rebelling against Boris Johnson’s order for a mass return to work in government departments this week after two new Covid-19 outbreaks in Whitehall. Officials have accused ministers of using them as guinea pigs for the government’s plans to boost the economy by sending people back to their offices. […] While government departments have carried out risk assessments to establish how many people can safely return to work, senior officials have made clear to their staff that civil servants will not be forced back into the office if they do not want to go.” (link, paywalled)
Poor civil guinea pigs – being sent back to do the work we’re paying them for, just for the sake of boosting the economy! That mandarins have told their people they can stay at home if they don’t want to go to work is of a crassness that defies understanding! That it takes two (!) ‘new cases’ for all of Whitehall to commit ‘personal lockdown’ – words fail me!
Is it permitted to ask if the war gamers in government and cabinet are so keen on imposing ‘hard quarantine’ on all of us because the Mandarins and civil serpents want to ‘shield’ themselves from going back to work – on full pay?