Sowing the seeds

bailout
If you turned on your telly this Tuesday morning to watch ITV’s breakfast show, you’d have been given a reminder of why you’d be much better off staying in your kip and not watching breakfast television. Today on This Morning we were regaled by the sight of Vanessa Feltz and Boris Johnson’s dad Stanley giving us advice on the coronavirus. The British government thinks that it has been clear in its advice but judging from his appearance on the TV, the Prime Minister’s own father doesn’t seem to understand what his son’s government has been telling us. If this is what the British media thinks is a sensible and informative response to the epidemic, then we’re all doomed. This is quite literally a matter of life and death here, and the British media still can’t stop indulging itself in its addiction to click bait, controversy, and ‘colourful characters’. We’re all doomed.

The 79 year old Stanley Johnson remarked that if he has to go to the pub, of course he’ll go to the pub. In Stanley’s universe going to the pub is a necessity, along with telling the peasants to get orf his land and having no sympathy for homeless people. But then we shouldn’t really have been surprised by his performance, as the 79 year old Stanley Johnson thinks that the government’s advice to people over the age of 70 to reduce social interactions to the absolute essential minimum really means that he should go into a TV studio where dozens of people are working, in a building where hundreds of people are working. We’re all doomed.

More plausibly it’s just that Stanley thinks that official advice doesn’t apply to him, because he’s a special one by virtue of his class and wealth. And to be fair his son’s government does perform a sterling job at bolstering that impression. His son tells people not to go to pubs or restaurants, but doesn’t order pubs and restaurants to close, because then they’d be able to make insurance claims and that would damage the wealthy financial interests who support the Conservative party. Then Richard Branson asks for a bail out of £7.5 billion for the airline industry while he lays off 80% of his airline’s staff without pay so that he doesn’t have to sell off his private island. We’re all doomed.

You’d think that any advice given to Stanley Johnson should include telling him to stay away from the airwaves, and to shut the feck up – just in general. Stanley Johnson showed himself up to be an absolute rager, an entitled, pompous, irresponsible buffon who has never known hardship and who is seemingly incapable of putting himself in the shoes of another and who is oblivious to the harm he leaves in his wake. This remember, is the guy who said that the British public was too stupid to be able to spell Pinocchio. Still, at least we now know where his son gets it from. Fresh from giving us Nigel Farage as an expert on epidemiology, now the British media gives us Stanley Johnson as the man to listen to for advice on self-isolation. We’re all doomed.

Then after allowing Stanley Johnson to tell people that the government’s advice shouldn’t apply to them if they don’t feel like it, Philip Schofield bemoaned the amount of misinformation that’s going about. Have I mentioned that we’re all doomed?

The big problem that the British government has during this health crisis is that it is led by a man who is most famous for lying. Boris Johnson has never knowingly told the truth when he’s able to get away with a self-serving lie. Indeed much of the time he doesn’t even care if people know he’s lying, because he knows that there’s nothing much anyone can do about it. Yet now he needs us to trust him. It’s hardly surprising that people are taking things into their own hands and are adopting social isolation measures irrespective of what the British government tells them. Except for Stanley Johnson of course.

This emergency has already started to have a serious impact on everyone’s life. It’s going to get worse before it gets better, yet already we’ve seen a breakdown in trust between the government and the media on one hand, and the public on the other. When that happens, it’s the responsibility of the government and the media to restore trust.

This crisis is a generational event. It’s no exaggeration to say that it’s going to change everything. The world will never be the same as it was, our behaviour may have to change permanently, and that in turn will have an effect on our attitudes to government and to the British state. It will show that in a time of crisis, the absolute worst people to deal with it are shallow populists of the ilk of Donald Trump, Nigel Farage, or Boris Johnson. This is a time when we need experts, we need hard facts and solid information.

We don’t need lies, spin, and the self-interest of an unaccountable political class who will seek to use this crisis to enrich themselves and entrench their power. We don’t need a media which peddles shlock and gossip, which pumps our TV screens and newspapers full of vacuous celebrities who have nothing to contribute beyond their ability to stock up controversy. We don’t need a BBC that tells us that the UK’s government’s advice has changed because “the science has changed” when in fact what’s happened is that the UK government has belatedly realised that its modelling was wrong. We don’t need a Foreign Secretary who doesn’t know where Lima is, who tells us that he can’t organise flights to repatriate UK citizens stranded abroad because of the expense, while his own government cheerfully bails out banks and rewards the wealthy with tax breaks. We don’t need multi-billion pound funding for businesses while doing nothing about outlawing evictions or mortgage foreclosures for the duration of this crisis, or giving local authorities the power to take take over empty homes so that we can get homeless people off the streets.

This crisis will teach us that in this global age it’s more important than ever that our political class can be held to account. It’s more important than ever that we have a media which has public information as its prime priority and which doesn’t seek a false balance by giving equal time to charlatans as it does to fact. That’s precisely what’s not possible within the sclerotic structures of a creaking British state which is incapable of reforming itself.

This may not be the time for actively campaigning for independence, but this is most certainly the time during which the seeds are being sown for the campaign which is to come. It’s a campaign that will be fought so that we can assert that the country belongs to the people, and the government is our servant. It’s a campaign that will be fought on the vital importance of ensuring that the banks help to bail out the people after the people have bailed out the banks. It’s a campaign that will be fought on the vital importance of ensuring that the people are protected before the financial interests of the rich and the powerful. It’s a campaign that will be fought on the vital importance of Scotland being able to have a government that the people of this country can hold to account.


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56 thoughts on “Sowing the seeds

  1. Paul One of the best appraisals of the present situation I have read so far

    I hope people are looking at the whole purpose of the ones who Paul refers too ,the likes of Bawjaws dad , the only comment I can make about him and his class is surplus to requirements and as Paul said WTF is the Clowns dad on TV giving his opinion , who the f/k needs his useless bloody opinionated drivel it’s like annoying background musac .you know it’s there but you can’t figure out why .

    Never in my lifetime have I encountered a PM who is so far out of his depth it’s frightening , This whole country needs strong clear trusted leadership and unfortunately WE ARE LUMBERED WITH THE BIGGEST CLOWN IMAGINABLE ,

    His strings and his party by the looks of it are being manipulated by a person who should be forcibly removed from sight immediately there is a reason these professional Liars have been required ,

  2. Sorry to put a dampener on your last paragraph Paul but this present Scottish Government hasn’t shown a willingness to carry out any of that wish list and continue, for the most part, to follow and take their lead from Downing Street.

    Oh! Hello Petra, didn’t see you.

    • I don’t see anything that is not absolutely correct. The consequences of this are going to be far-reaching and nobody is going to be immune to the effects.

  3. Amen to all that Paul.

    (And to hell meantime with the inevitable mean-minded petty quibblers. Of whichever supposed side.)

  4. My son in Finland has been laid off from the restaurant he works in because of the Covid 19 epidemic. His Union is paying 100% of his wage for a month and after that he will get 75% (from the government, I think but not sure, it was early this morning when he phoned as they are 3 yime zones ahead of us.)

    It now seems that there will be a compensation package in the UK.

    What I am thinking is that it is stupid to have hundreds of thousands of workers sitting at home feeling pretty useless.

    Shouldn’t those who are fit and able and under the age of 60, instead be used to make respirators, build temporary wards, make beds, hand gel, masks, etc.etc.etc.?

    Maybe something like a temporary national service conscription? A mobilization of a civil army.

    Those unfit or over 60 would still get payed as well of course, whether there is something they can do for the effort at home or not.

    • The reason all these fit and well people are sitting at home “doing nothing” is so that they remain fit and healthy and are not put in a situation where they could come into contact with the virus! Being out and about doing a “national service” kinda defeats the purpose of the isolation strategy.

    • The UK, so called, is a cesspit. It’s led by a corrupt, nasty, destructive, cabal who thrive on others’ misfortune, and the situation now at this very worrying time, is no different.

      The so called UK as it is now could be likened to a parasite, only taking from others.

      The lowlifes running the show are denying people a decent living, now they are quite happy to deny many a life. Utter scumbags.

      Pogmothon reading your comment is terrifying, because it’s the most likely scenario, if the Tories can get away with the removal of peoples’ freedoms and rights in such a way, as Paul says, we really are doomed.

      The young deserve to have a good life, equality in work, and economical security at the very least. Within the UK, those things are being denied them. Sadly, Scotland is shackled to the cesspit UK, to England, and we will see many of our young people having to leave once this dreadful pandemic is over. I would not blame them, five more years of the corrupt cabal running the show will destroy lives and communities, again, and will damage Scotland economically beyond recognition.

      It’s like some dystopian nightmare, with insignificant nobodies on prime time television brought out to spout opinionated irrelevant crap, about a world wide crisis, a pandemic! Just be good if it was a nightmare at least then we would be able to wake up from it!

      Talking of which it is very late. At least might get a washing hung out the morra!

      Keep well all.

  5. Well said, Paul. We need people who are honest and true, with experience of life, who will work without fear or favour. I suspect that in the coming months, a new enlightenment will emerge and we will find who and what we need to create the kind of society you have eloquently craved in these writings – and that will be a good thing in all this hubris.

    £330 billion in loans for businesses, but still no money for individuals. What’s the point of offering commercial “loans” when it’s individual people that needs support? If there are no workers or customers, there is no business. This is crazy!

    Back to the Magic Money Tree, Mr Sunak.

    It’s a little long-winded and academic, but this is on-the-ball.

    “The coronavirus will redefine what currency-issuing governments can do – finally” – Bill Mitchell

    I would have called it “The coronavirus will expose the dishonesty and corruption of many currency-issuing governments like the UK”

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=44507

    • …and if you need a smile, remember this: Boris is now a progressive communist on the political spectrum, so far to the left from Jeremy Corbyn that is makes Jezza seem like Farage in the old order! There’s an exquisite irony that just days after the greatest political coup with Brexit and Rule Brittania, UK PLC is finally no more. Perhaps there is a God after all…

  6. It will show that in a time of crisis, the absolute worst people to deal with it are the privately educated toffs of Eton harrow or any other privately run educational establishment that relies on wealth as opposed to ability.
    The privately educated should never be allowed anywhere near a public office of any category. The public should have learned the lesson by now, it is obvious that these types of people are utterly useless and know nothing of ordinary life.

    • Boris did advise people to cancel their cruises, cut down on the Bolly and stop going to polo matches. OK I made the last two up.

  7. The Stanley Johnson “Class” are as much an artificial construct as those who present them to the public as worthy of being listened to or even elected, the common connection, power and wealth.
    COVID is the immediate threat to normal, but afterward, these parasites are going to need stronger disinfectant and isolation…

  8. ” In Venice the canal waters are clear, we can see the fish, swans have returned”, someone posted.

    Maybe this enforced industrial turndown is a pointer for humanity to consider what and why we manufacture, build, tolerate – HS2, dumping nuclear submarine waste into our waters, vs a greener sustainable planet – and why we, in Scotland are unable to influence the decision making and yet are obliged to pay our contribution.

    In today’s National Michael Fry is expressing a very mild twinge of concern over the inequality of rewards for work.Worth a read.

  9. Well, in Sunak the UK Gov have the best chancellor for decades, maybe centuries, someone with an actual brain. Who’d have thuink it! And I didn’t like him to start with for some reason.

    For me the economy was a bigger danger than Covid-19 as poverty and austerity kill, and Covid-19 could be the financial crisis on supercharged austerity, But with his business package and possibly individual ones (he’s looking at the citizen wage idea), he’s making very strong gestures, not of the two-finger variety either (except perhaps at Osborne and Hammond).

    http://archive.is/8NO9O

    That’s a view from Graeme Roy of the FoAI, and I agree (sorry, he agrees with me). I think Sunak will impress the previous NO voters who Boris has been moving to YES. And I think it might have to change the SNP fiscal commission to MMT rather than their old-fashioned neolibcon staid but austere image.

    Sunak is a legend.

  10. I suppose newspaper sales might be hit, at least for those with readerships with some kind of cognitive capacity. I hope the National can get by on its excellent pagesuit digital edition.

    Perhaps a 3 month extra cheap Covid deal for new sign ups?

    • Not just mainstream chic. Local newspapers have been losing regular advertisers at an appalling rate. Especially those in tourist areas where the small papers rely on hotel and tourist trap advertising, festivals, transport links ads etc. The big guns may survive this, but smaller independent publishers are going to be hit hard.

  11. The changes to the UK ( European ? ) way of life caused by this event may be so far-reaching that we may never return to the system of financial governance ( designed by the rich for the rich ) which prevailed up to this week .
    Changes may be so great and so deep-rooted that perhaps ( I say PERHAPS ) the UK may be changed in ways that leave us Scots not requiring Independence to escape the voracious clutches of the Elite who have ruled the UK for ever .
    This crisis may see the end of the callous Tories , the end of the greedy Banking System which exists to serve itself not the public , the end of the US and THEM society , the end of the Elites acting like vampires sucking the marrow from society and leaving millions destitute , homeless and without hope .
    Or maybe we will just gone on as before ?
    I know what I want to happen .

    • Spot on Millsy…
      The 2008 repaint on the old jalopy many economists predicted would peel off within a decade is still being polished by the financially advantaged. Johnson’s “business as usual” theatre was doomed to failure even before the arrival of COVID, but the level of government incompetence exposed has made IDS look vaguely “normal”.
      It is inconceivable they can come up with another Brexit wheeze in the time available, and with public anger already simmering, this is the Elite’s King Cnut moment.

    • I remember watching a programme a few years ago about the super rich and how they had accumulated their wealth.
      It ended with one American billionaire saying ” Are the people with pitchforks coming, maybe not yet but they will come”

  12. Well, I can’t say I share the view that the new Tory chancellor is other than another Tory chancer. Billions of pounds worth of loans. Now remind me who has benefited from the recovery of loans in the past.

    People struggling along at the bottom are going to acquire debt to be paid back from slave wages once the virus is under control.

    The posh boys who have control have zero social conscience. If they aren’t very careful they are going to see trouble on their posh London streets. Not all the poor will just put their heads down and sob when they can’t feed their family. And like the poll tax riots the common people will shake their heads and refuse to condemn.

    Set against the horror of having no money on which to survive, the coronavirus will be insignificant to desperate young people who are apparently inconsequential to their elders and their posh peers.

    Then again, maybe this new posh boy is going to announce a radical scheme to give money to those who most need it. I am all ears.

    • I’m not sure the money argument is really that relevant anymore. We can print money, but it doesn’t taste too good after a while. Not as nutritious as kangaroo, cow or sheep either, but I guess the animals ain’t too bothered. Five minutes into a cup final and we’re already six behind and this opposition is still in infancy. Wait until this baby grows up.

      From the case progression and recent clinical presentations this will prove a formidable adversary – and if the genome potentials develop characteristics that provide durability – v.load rate, target sites, transmit ability, we may be unable to develop an effective vaccine in sufficient time to see much of humanity. That’s if we can navigate through all the other catastrophic threats this crisis has created. Not surprising the Americans are buying guns and ammo at a time like this. A fitting, if depressing metaphor for these times.

      Let’s hope the next civilisation can make a better job of it. Preferably on four legs.

      Take care all.

      • perhaps you’re correct.
        Mother nature getting rid of a destructive virus that is destroying the planet.
        We now see the government can create liquidity IF they want to.
        The uk government has in two weeks created a trillion pounds of debt.
        The lie of austerity will become visible.

        • Yep – and if by some miracle an effective vaccine appears or the quarantine works and the outbreak is contained and we revert back to how things were in UK PLC – but it won’t last for the reasons you outline above. Incredible that a tiny little thing can change the world in just a few days. Took my dog for a walk this morning and the town was deserted. You can hear the birds as clear as the dawn chorus in the countryside. But it was midday in the usually packed town square. There are no airplanes, no trains, no people.

          Just arrived home to discover my landlord in the garden looking like shit. His wife is a church worker with the homeless and pensioners – and had been in bed since Sunday night with temperature and a cough. He’s heading to his bedroom now.

          I bought some good quality grass this morning. The smoke has a bactericidal, fungicidal and virucidal effect on lung and upper-respiratory track tissues. And it doesn’t impair lung function. Anytime in the past when I’ve been cultivating a chest infection, I buy a bottle of whisky and make hot toddies with lemon, cloves and honey – then drink the bottle over six hours and supplement it with a good joint every hour. Two paracetamol before bed. I have a difficult night with coughing initially, but I’ll sleep well and wake up with a shit hangover – but my chest will be much better and any infection/cough will clear in a day or two at the most.

          I’m not suggesting anyone follows suit, but it’s works for me. Ok – I’m away out for some whisky, before they’re sold out.

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5072387/

    • Aye, I think you’re right, but I also think they’ve enough savvy to direct the blame onto others… foreigners don’t you know.

      And they’ve been playing that game, with the full orchestra of the MSM for a while now, so, its not their first rodeo.

      Unfortunately.

  13. I should have clarified the above was specifically re ‘If they aren’t very careful they are going to see trouble on their posh London streets. Not all the poor will just put their heads down and sob when they can’t feed their family.’

    • I fully expected him, Boris, to announce that we should melt down our railings to help Rolls Royce make ventilators. It’s pretty much the level he is operating at.

  14. I sincerely hope that it is a brave new world on the other side of this. One where we all receive a national living wage. One where we can all “work to live” not “live to work”. However the hill we have to climb just got a whole lot steeper.
    I take it we all understand that any indiviual or group that is granted a power or authority will eventually use that power no matter now piously they protest “it’s just in case”.
    Well by the time the waste monster brakes up for the weekend BBC (boris’s blethering cronies) intend to grant
    1) the power of arrest to a single police or imigration officer on their suspicion of illness. And have the victim detained in a place of safety, yup the empire is about rerun one of its greatest inventions the concentration camp.
    2) the power to conscript labour. Yup work camps or (basically) chain gangs.

    And don’t you think they haven’t got the will or ideology to see it through. In their minds nothing has changed since “prima nocta” the plebiscite are there to be used as they see fit.
    According to their statements and press releases these amongst other powers will beenacted this week. So essential by Friday night we will be under marital law. And you can bet your bottom dollar it won’t be “Argyll Law” in Scotland.

  15. Posting this again as I mistakenly posted it in the wrong place!

    The UK, so called, is a cesspit. It’s led by a corrupt, nasty, destructive, cabal who thrive on others’ misfortune, and the situation now at this very worrying time, is no different.

    The so called UK as it is now could be likened to a parasite, only taking from others.

    The lowlifes running the show are denying people a decent living, now they are quite happy to deny many a life. Utter scumbags.

    Pogmothon reading your comment is terrifying, because it’s the most likely scenario, if the Tories can get away with the removal of peoples’ freedoms and rights in such a way, as Paul says, we really are doomed.

    The young deserve to have a good life, equality in work, and economical security at the very least. Within the UK, those things are being denied them. Sadly, Scotland is shackled to the cesspit UK, to England, and we will see many of our young people having to leave once this dreadful pandemic is over. I would not blame them, five more years of the corrupt cabal running the show will destroy lives and communities, again, and will damage Scotland economically beyond recognition.

    It’s like some dystopian nightmare, with insignificant nobodies on prime time television brought out to spout opinionated irrelevant crap, about a world wide crisis, a pandemic! Just be good if it was a nightmare at least then we would be able to wake up from it!

    Talking of which it is very late. At least might get a washing hung out the morra!

    Keep well all.

  16. Just when you need society to pull together… Who knew that decades of Westminster’s practice of politics would see folk beating each other up in shopping lanes over bog paper?

  17. I have a feeling that should BoJo’s dad go down the pub and admit that his son is the PM,he may have some difficulties leaving in one piece.
    My advice to him would be,either self isolate or have his name changed.

  18. “TORY GENOCIDE POLICY” *

    MAD !

    In fact the Tories were called on their ‘Tory Genocide’ (TM) ‘herd immunity’ plan. Even the most mathematically illiterate could work out that 1% dead of 80% of the UK population infected… was 480,000 dead British people.

    The tsunami of outrage from the UK’s revolting peasants is a _far_ more likely reason to announce a change in policy, imo.

    Whether the policy will in fact be changed wholeheartedly and in a trustworthy manner is entirely another question; the Tory track record inspires zero confidence in this observer. _All_ the ‘one nation’ conservative MPs were booted out in case you’ve already forgotten leaving only the barking-mad far right; liars, spivs, grifters and shysters the lot of them. Are Scots less likely to be cap-doffing peasants in 2020 than the English? But we digress.

    Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and now many others doing ‘Suppression’ instead of the UK ‘herd immunity’ aka ‘Tory Genocide’ (TM) are likely to experience _far_ fewer deaths. Admittedly ‘in the short term’ / ‘hopefully’ / ‘if it works’ etc. No one has a guarantee and we won’t have the benefit of hindsight for probably two years (winter recurrences)

    > We don’t need a BBC that tells us that the UK’s government’s advice has changed because “the science has changed” when in fact what’s happened is that the UK government has belatedly realised that its modelling was wrong.

    That is an insanely generous interpretation, imo, for a government that has lied and lied and lied about Brexit. Why ignore those lies now?? Character counts ABSOLUTELY.

    * Of course, ‘genocide of the Tory shysters’ would not be quite as insupportable; ymmv. When that became the only alternative to their version, no wonder they changed their tune!

    “Where is the English Charlotte Corday who will rid us of this turbulent Marat?” etc. ; ) –

    https://twitter.com/plyons45/status/1239705167555178496

    No decent English people were harmed in the making of this post. Tories not so much. Yet. Bring back the Dug’s ‘added vitriol’. ; )

    • FANCY THAT ! *

      ‘TORY GENOCIDE’ via Mark Curtis – WHY the UK changed from ‘herd immunity’ (‘Mitigation’) to ‘Suppression’; and not because ‘the science changed’,

      The Tory Shysters (TM) _deliberately_ pursued 1% dead of 80%, or 60%, of the UK population, ie 480,000 dead British people, until a) called on it, or b) ‘they realised their mistake’; the mistake that they would be hanging from lamposts well before the coronavirus got them once that policy was outed, and compared to the WHO and the rest of the world pursuing ‘Suppression’ with possibly one tenth or even less deaths.

      – ‘Scientists have been sounding the alarm on coronavirus for months. Why did Britain fail to act?’ Richard Horton MD, editor of the Lancet, 18th March 2020 – Guardian –

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/18/coronavirus-uk-expert-advice-wrong

      from a tweet by the always relevant Mark Curtis –

      https://twitter.com/medialens/status/1240543091888721921

      * Shocked, Shocked to find gambling going on!

  19. BEST INFO SUMMARY AVAILABLE

    1. FT – Summary Covid19 – no paywall article – 20200315, but still updating their charts –

    https://www.ft.com/content/a26fbf7e-48f8-11ea-aeb3-955839e06441

    2. with link to data – Live world summary – John Hopkins University –

    https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

    3. and link to live demo from comments – You can enter ‘Ireland’ into ‘Search country’ box and see it stand out to see it more clearly.

    https://observablehq.com/@elaval/coronavirus-worldwide-evolution

    Also discovered by Sean Whelan RTE who is usually good –

    https://twitter.com/seanwhelanRTE/status/1239480945964695553`

    An apparently emminent and reliable British scientist has told us that it’s about 1000 cases of infection per death, so one can compare the reported cases for each country (by testing) to this rough estimate of possible actual numbers infected using the numbers from 2 above. To find that even the ‘best’ countries have ten times as many people infected than have been confirmed by testing. E.G. China then may have 3.122 million infected vs 81,193 confirmed cases. Korea 84,000 vs 8,413 or ten times more. And the UK then may have 55,000 infected vs 1,960 confirmed cases, he said.

    Reason to take ‘social distancing’ and ‘test, test, test’ very seriously.

    • NUMBERS GAME

      1. UK Scientist – ‘actual numbers may be x1000 the number of deaths’.

      2. Better – ‘Estimating actual COVID 19 cases (novel corona virus infections) in an area based on deaths’, by Sal @ Khan Academy – Youtube –

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCa0JXEwDEk

      (Based on a long and very thorough article by Tomas Pueyo, #3).

      3. **** WHY ‘Suppression’ can cost only one tenth the lives lost pursuing ‘herd immunity’ aka ‘Mitigation’ aka ‘Tory Genocide’ (TM).

      #2 is based on a long and very thorough article by Tomas Pueyo –

      – ‘Estimating actual COVID 19 cases (novel corona virus infections) in an area based on deaths’, by Tomas Pueyo – Medium.com –

      https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-act-today-or-people-will-die-f4d3d9cd99ca

      • There is strong suspicion that Italy had it, undetected, for an unknown number of days. This is based on the unusual number of deaths due to pneumonia in what had been diagnosed as influenza just before the covid 19 was first identified there.

        If that is the case, then Italy might be in effect, further along the curve. What seems worse there might not be.

        I have been doing another kind of comparison.

        When looking at total cases by date (from Worldometer drill down data) and comparing to death rate, countries can be compared. For example from today’s data, the UK has had 2626 cases identified and 104 deaths. If click on Italy to get the graphs you can find the date which most nearly corresponds to the same number of cases, in this instance March 4th and then see what the total number of deaths was up to that point, in Italy’s case 107, so very similar to the UK for that single pair of data.

        Of course, how valid this is depends on how comparable the in active case methodologies used are. But the same can be said for the active case graphs.

        • “There is strong suspicion that Italy had it, undetected, for an unknown number of days” is undoubtedly the case, by the time they realised what they were dealing with it was too late.
          7 days a carrier before symptoms showed in a population embracing, shaking hands, unaware of their role in the calamity that was to follow, a huge wakeup call for the rest of Europe…
          The danger on the UK figures is Johnson’s resistance to testing lowering reported detections, they have previous on slewing statistics when it comes to health, the next week or two will be telling. His “We are at War” I suspect will soon become “Never in the field of human suffering was so much anger owed by so many to so few”
          Re the data coming in, Vatican City and San Marino figures are off the scale….

    • Think it was me. Interesting article albeit on a small sample but I think the Chinese were finding something similar.

      Like a lot of infections people are infectious before the symptoms appear which is why it is so important to find and test all contacts. Not only does it let them know the are at risks but lets them and the authorities know how many cases there are.

    • Probably you right enough Legerwood.. It was the level of infectivity and timeline I found astonishing, but explains much of what other countries recommended by way of controls and methods. It also knocks my original thoughts on using facemasks when healthy, since you may well feel healthy but be a walking liability for others.
      Heard today the Chinese flew in a planeload of gear and advisers into Italy to assist, possibly the start of rolling global collaboration as this unrolls. Not likely in Trumpland as they have the different “Chinese Virus”, nor in Patel-land due to visa restrictions…
      Meanwhile with no testing and limited PPE, English NHS staff sink Rule Brittania at the sink and pray…
      Madness

      • Saw something in the Guardian online that paramedics in London have been told they can have one, paper(?) facemask between two.

        God help them.

  20. I live in Denmark. Yesterday at 4 am my fever and cough had worsened. An ambulance 20 minutes after our phone call and took me into newly converted Corona dept in our local hospital. It wasn’t Corona, thankgod, and now I’m being treated in more conventional dept.

    Last night the Danish government announced the closing of everything, apart from hospitals, food shops and pharmacies. No gatherings of more than 10 people. No sports events, even amateur outdoors. Even bairns birthday parties and private dinner parties should not be held. You mustn’t approach other people closer than 2 metres even food shops, and all open shops must have disinfection equipment readily to hand.

    Then the Queen came and appealed to everyone to hold to the rules – it would thoughtless and totally selfish to do otherwise.

    All travel into Denmark is banned for all but residents and “essential workers” – e.g. lorry drivers carrying food and pharmaceuticals.

    It will be interesting to see the ultimate effect of the two approaches. I’m afraid I’m glad I’m on the Danish side.

    • And Spain has requisitions beds in private hospitals in order to increase capacity. Meanwhile the UK Gov is going to rent beds in private hospitals and pay millions to the private companies.

  21. I cannot imagine how frightening it must be to be getting evicted from your home with nowhere to go in the middle of this virus pandemic.

    Also it would appear that the Tories are still committed to going ahead with Brexit at the end of the year. Madness or idiots or mad idiots.

    • I reckon that the Tories are having to dig deep and do something about this, overall, to prevent an even greater threat than coronavirus and that is the breakdown of society altogether leading to mass riots across the country. Add to that as you say the madness of Brexit. What happened to the broad shoulders of the Union protecting Scotland and strong and stable Government? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8eC6j8KWxY

      ‘Coronavirus: Boris Johnson promises legislation to protect private tenants from eviction during pandemic.’

      ..”Mr Corbyn said that chancellor Rishi Sunak had offered “nothing” to 20 million tenants in his £350bn package of coronavirus support on Tuesday. Labour released research suggesting that 6 million households living in homes rented from a private or social landlord have no savings to fall back on.”..

      ..”But Mr Corbyn told MPs that many renters – including 3 million households with children – were “worried sick that they can’t pay their rent if they get ill, lose pay or feel they need to self-isolate”.”

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/coronavirus-boris-johnson-update-news-protect-private-tenants-eviction-a9408896.html

  22. I know it sounds daft but over the last few days Piers Morgan has been interrogating, not interviewing but really interrogating tory government representatives , I know he has the occasional lapse of reason ,one being getting his drawers in a twist because Nicola Sturgeon had the cheek to speak before bawjaws , but sometimes his annoying attitude gets results ,this morning he berated Bawjaws dear old dad and tried to get a tory minister to call him a dangerous old duffer , so far he is doing a better job than any other political party leader .

    I experienced first hand Iceland’s let pensiones in first trial run , oh god age dosnt bring good manners and common sense , what a bunch of crabbit , self centered ,selfish old duffers , it had to be abandoned because the ones who obviously were not elderly objected to pensioners being allowed 2 hours yes thats 2 hours out of a whole week to attempt to get some shopping done , what a bloody selfish me first society a lot of us are becoming its depressing and really sad .

  23. Pingback: Sowing the seeds | sideshowtog

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