Tag Archives: lift

Covid-19: recriminations as the UK heads for disaster on July 19

The UK is well on-target to have more than 50,000 new Covid-19 infections per day by July 19 – when Boris Johnson insists on unlocking all lockdown restrictions and abdicating any responsibility for the consequences.

Today – July 15 – the UK recorded 48,553 new cases and 63 deaths (within 28 days of a positive test) – those are the highest levels since January 15 and March 26 respectively.

More than 1,200 scientists have signed a letter accusing the Tory government of “recklessly exposing millions to the acute and long-term impacts of mass infection”.

Branding the government’s plans “dangerous and premature”, it described Johnson’s strategy as “herd immunity by mass infection” and said that opening the country should be delayed until “everyone, including adolescents, have been offered vaccination and uptake is high”.

“A strategy that chooses mass infection in children and young people now as a way to protect the vulnerable in winter, instead of taking the time to vaccinate our young is unethical and unscientific,” the letter added.

It also said the pandemic plan risked “burdening a generation with long Covid, the long-term consequences of which are unknown”.

Lancet editor-in-chief Richard Horton has accused government Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty of “wilfully misrepresenting scientific opinion across the country”.

He said: “I found it extraordinary that the Chief Medical Officer suggested and emphasised that there was widespread agreement across the scientific community whereas in fact there is profound disagreement in the scientific community.

“He did not mention the letter… that we published, and I’m afraid I have to conclude that the Chief Medical Officer is wilfully misrepresenting scientific opinion across the country, and that is extraordinary to observe.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced that the city’s transport network will continue to make wearing face masks mandatory after July 19 – and cartoonists have gleefully seized on the obvious opportunity for satire:

A SAGE expert has warned that young people in particular will suffer “acute Covid injury” – damage to their lungs and kidneys that will seriously harm their future health – due to the felaxation of social distancing restrictions:

Economist Richard Murphy raises another concern – that the decision to relax face mask rules was down to Tory vanity. He points to an article in the Financial Times, to which this tweet refers:

“The message is loud and clear,” Murphy states. “The right-wing of the Tory party want to end Covid restrictions without caring for the consequences. The government knows that this is madness, but will not rely on Labour votes to retain masks. And so, to save Boris Johnson masks must go, even if (as will happen) thousand will die as a result.

“This is democide in action.”

Read it yourself via this tweet:

It seems thousands of people are to die because Boris Johnson is scared of his backbenchers – and too proud to rely on support from Keir Starmer – that he has enjoyed throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

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Genocidal Johnson announces total end to lockdown laws as new and deadlier ‘Lambda variant’ arrives in UK

Back to Square One: Boris Johnson’s plan to end Covid-19 lockdown restrictions is a return to his very first idea – herd immunity. But you won’t hear him say it.

Timing is the secret to great tragedy, as well as comedy. Boris Johnson may soon discover that, to his cost.

The UK’s imbecile prime minister has announced that he will go ahead with his plan to lift all remaining lockdown restrictions in England on July 19, saying from then on it will be a personal choice whether we wear masks to keep our friends, neighbours and colleagues safe – or get rid of them and risk infecting them all.

And he has done it as news reaches us of a new and deadlier variant of Covid-19 – the “Lambda variant” – which is arriving in the UK from Peru.

We had plenty of warning that Johnson would do as he has done. It was mooted about on the mass media over the weekend and on the news shows early on July 5 – although the Tories could have chosen a better representative to get the message across.

Helen “I use private emails to do government business so you can’t see what I’m up to” Whately made a worse idiot of herself than Johnson would have. Asked whether she, personally, would take advantage of the rule change to ditch her own mask, she dissembled, as the following shows:

She just wouldn’t give a straight answer to a simple question, leading even the BBC’s Dan Walker to exasperation:

Johnson went ahead with his announcement in a press conference at 5pm:

He was undermined very quickly. For example, this morning (July 6), new Health Secretary Sajid Javid admitted that new Covid-19 infections could number 50,000 a day by July 19, the so-called “Freedom Day” when restrictions are expected to be lifted:

Some projections have put the increase in infections up to 100,000 per day over the summer. Freedom Day? #DangerDay is what I’d call it.

The backlash from thinking members of the public has been enormous.

On Facebook, one friend of This Writer wrote: “it appears the UK Government is officially insane, yesterday with case levels rising with the current restrictions they announce the removal of pretty much all covid related restrictions then today say they expect case levels to rise from the under 22,000 cases currently experienced to over 100,000 cases during the summer. Absolutely no person in their right mind would even consider this to be a good course of action. At best it is reckless and grossly negligent.”

Another wrote: “How many more people has our murderous Prime Minister just sentenced to death with his utterly irresponsible (and against scientific advice) stupid relaxation of all rules?”

And another came up with an entire alternative plan for easing restrictions, off the top of his head: “During today’s press conference, Johnson asked ‘If we don’t re-open now, then when will we do it…?’

“I don’t know, Boris… how about, say, announcing a phased reduction in Covid restrictions when we hit 75% of the adult population double-vaccinated? That’s a firm, acheivable target with a definable benefit in terms of restricting Covid.

“It also brings an additional positive incentive to get vaccinated which, combined with the societal pressures it would create, would very likely tip many of the ‘vaccine hesitant’ to get the bloody jabs.

“There. That took me five minutes to think of, and I’m not even the f***ing Prime Minister.”

It seems Johnson has gone back to his old idea of “herd immunity” yet again. Like a child with a single idea stuck in his head, he can’t seem to let it go, as this expert opinion suggests:

Medical experts have said Johnson’s plan is equivalent to building “variant factories” in the UK, providing an opportunity for new and deadlier versions of Covid-19 to take hold here, against which the vaccine will be useless.

Prof Susan Michie, the director of the Centre for Behaviour Change at University College London, and another member of Sage’s behavioural science subcommittee, tweeted: “Allowing community transmission to surge is like building new ‘variant factories’ at a very fast rate.”

And of course we also have variants coming into the UK from abroad, because Johnson refused to protect us by closing the UK’s borders. We’ve already had the “Delta variant” from India; now here’s the “Lambda variant” from Peru:

Public reaction to Johnson’s plan has been one of horror:

But he’ll push ahead with it. He has to; he has now staked his political career on it.

Remember this: Covid-related deaths are rising again, in line with the number of infections. So ask yourself this:

How many more people aree you happy to see die, before you accept it is time to put a stop to Johnson’s genocidal rule?

What is Jenrick really saying by telling us masks may be a ‘personal choice’ after July 19?

Robert Jenrick: he announced the change in policy on Andrew Marr’s BBC show. That look on his face is known as ‘duper’s delight’ and indicates that he thinks he’s making fools of us all.

It seems to me that our slippery Tory government is trying to change the rules of its own lockdown easement – again.

Robert Jenrick has said England is going to move into a period where legal restrictions related to Covid-19 will be relaxed, meaning that decisions on whether to consider following them – like wearing masks – will become a matter of personal choice.

Does that seem like pre-emptive blame-shifting to you?

Boris Johnson is determined to lift social distancing restrictions on July 19 – and to make the changes irrevocable.

Logically, the only time at which such a choice is reasonable would be when the risk of contracting Covid has become negligible.

Jenrick’s comment suggests that this will not be the case. His suggestion that people will exercise “personal responsibility” in their choice of whether to wear a mask or note means the government is passing the buck.

If people remove their masks en masse and the number of Covid cases increases, then he, Johnson and all the other Tories will blame the rest of us, rather than admit that their own decision to lift lockdown was at fault.

It’s a low-down, dirty trick – and they shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it.

If they lift the legal requirement to wear a face mask in public from July 19, then that must only mean that medical evidence dictates it is safe to do so…

… because I, for one, am desperate to get rid of the bloody masks and I know that most people feel the same way. If the government says it’s allowed, they’ll put the rags in the rubbish whether it’s safe or not.

So we need to make it clear:

If the government removes the requirement to wear a mask on July 19, then it must make it perfectly clear that it is because the government considers it safe to do so.

Any rise in Covid infections may then be – correctly – attributed to Tory policy.

Don’t let Jenrick or any other Tory stooge try to push responsibility for the pandemic onto you.

Source: Covid-19: Masks will become personal choice, says Robert Jenrick – BBC News

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As Covid rates skyrocket, new Health Secretary is trying to gaslight us all

Covid Javid: would he be so keen to whip that mask off in a school, where absence rates due to the virus have quadrupled in the last month?

England is on course to come out of lockdown altogether on July 19 – according to Sajid Javid. There’s just one problem: Covid-19 infections are skyrocketing.

It’s not a good look for a brand-new Health Secretary – trying to gaslight a nation that is tired out after almost 18 months of lies, denials, excuses, self-justifications and, worst of all, false promises.

But on June 28, Javid stood up in the House of Commons and told us all that he could “see no reason to go beyond” that “target date” of July 19.

The rest of us can. Covid-19 infections have shot above 20,000 per day for a second day running, and are likely to pass 100,000 a day by July 19 at the current rate of increase.

Javid says that’s not a problem because the number of deaths is falling. But this is to deny the fact that Covid-19 has other harmful effects.

What about the increased strain on the National Health Service?

What about Long Covid?

Oh yeah, that’s right. Javid reckons the lockdown must end because we must all learn to “live with” the virus.

How perversely appropriate, then, that the first people having to learn to live with it are likely to be our generation of learners – at school.

The infection rate there is already booming after the government decided to tell our kids not to wear face masks.

More than 375,000 pupils – about one in 20 – were out of school for Covid-related reasons, up by more than 130,000 in a week according to the latest official figures.

That’s more than four times as many as at the beginning of June, when the effects of the decision to stop demanding that pupils wear masks (from May 17) started to become clear.

And let’s not forget that, despite what he says, Javid has already played a huge part in increasing the threat of Covid-19:

So now we see that the new boss is exactly the same as the old boss, and Javid intends the government to continue handling Covid-19 exactly as it has all along:

BADLY.
Source: Covid-19: End of England’s Covid rules still set for 19 July – BBC News

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Newspaper promotes Covidiocy by claiming the UK has reached ‘herd immunity’ threshold

Still here: we may get yet another wave of Covid-19 infections because so-called ‘Covidiots’ use the lifting of some lockdown restrictions as an excuse to ignore ALL of them.

The Daily Telegraph has given everybody in the UK who doesn’t like wearing a mask for their safety and that of others an excuse to campaign against it.

“Britain will pass the threshold for herd immunity on Monday, according to dynamic modelling by University College London (UCL), placing more pressure on the Government to move faster in releasing restrictions,” states the Torygraph‘s story before mercifully disappearing behind a paywall.

Herd immunity is the idea that, if enough of the population is given immunity to a disease, then it will cease to be a danger to the population as a whole.

Boris Johnson suggested it as a way of handling Covid-19 back in March 2020 – but he completely misunderstood it, saying he thought the nation should carry on as normal and people develop the immunity by catching the disease. It was only when people started dying in huge numbers that he changed his decision and locked the UK down, fearful of the public reaction if he persisted with his nonsense claims.

In fact, herd immunity relies on vaccination, and it is true that much of the UK has now taken a first injection of a Covid-19 vaccine. This Writer’s understand was that at least 80 per cent needed to have been fully vaccinated before herd immunity could be reached, though – not the 73.4 per cent claimed by the hack rag.

Is it enough to justify the claim? Hell, no!

It’s just an attempt to support the lifting of restrictions in England that is taking place today (April 12).

The idea is to convince us all that, whatever may happen, Boris Johnson and his cronies are right to follow their lockdown-lifting timetable instead of the scientific facts which – as we have already heard – suggest that another wave of Covid infections could soon hit the UK.

In England, the new rules mean:

More businesses will open, but indoor settings should be visited alone, or with household groups. Outside, six people or two households can meet.

  • All shops allowed to open
  • Hairdressers, beauty salons and other close-contact services can open
  • Restaurants and pubs allowed to serve food and alcohol to customers sitting outdoors
  • Gyms and spas can reopen, as can zoos, theme parks, libraries and community centres
  • Members of the same household can take a holiday in England in self-contained accommodation
  • Weddings attended by up to 15 people can take place
  • Funerals be attended by up to 30 people, with 15 at wakes
  • Children will be able to attend any indoor children’s activity
  • Care home visitors will increase to two per resident

In Wales:

  • All pupils and students return to school, college and other education
  • All shops and close-contact services can open
  • The ban on travelling in and out of Wales ends
  • Driving lessons can resume and some driving tests (remainder on 22 April)

In Scotland:

  • All pupils back at school full-time

And in Northern Ireland:

  • Remaining school year groups 8-11 return (Years 1-3, 4-7 and 12-14 have already returned)
  • Stay-at-home message relaxed
  • All other non-essential retail can operate click-and-collect
  • Sports training with up to 15 people can resume
  • Up to 10 people from two households can meet in a private garden

None of the new conditions allow us to take off our masks in public yet.

However, some people have chosen to use the Torygraph article as an excuse for stupidity, under the hashtag #herdimmunityday:

“Something is dark in your heart”? That’s a really insidious thing to say – accusing people who follow the rules of an inner evil. Isn’t it?

There are hundreds of similar messages.

Fortunately, there is also a backlash from people who want us all to #staysafe until the crisis really is over:

The worst part of this is that there will come a time when vaccination really will have done its work and herd immunity – as correctly defined – will have been reached. And that’s when these morons will come out again and claim that they were right all along.

In the meantime, though, let’s remember that some of these people have been claiming that the government will find any excuse to impose new lockdowns, keep us in our homes and wearing masks – because that keeps us under control.

It seems odd that they also seem hell-bent on providing the government with the excuse it needs.

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More gay and bisexual men can give blood – after wait of more than six years (at least!)

It is more than six years since I tore metaphorical shreds off of Michael Fabricant for suggesting the ban on all gay men giving blood should be lifted – and this announcement proves I was right.

At the time, Fabricant reckoned the ban on sexually promiscuous gay men should be lifted as straight men who behave in the same manner do not suffer the same discrimination.

I stated that this was insane – partly because it misrepresented the issue.

The problem, I said, was that the ban did not only affect sexually promiscuous gay men, but any man who had had sex with another man, with or without a condom.

This clearly discriminated against gay men who were in a monogamous relationship in which both partners were free of infection. They should not be covered by the ban, I said.

Fast forward to the new announcement:

Men who have sex with men in a long-term relationship will now be able to donate blood at any time.

The new criteria [focus] on individual behaviours, lifting a blanket ban for any men who have had sex with men in the last three months.

All blood donors who have had one sexual partner and who have been with their sexual partner for more than three months, will now be eligible to donate regardless of their gender, the gender of their partner, or the type of sex they have.

Under previous rules, all men who have sex with men had to abstain from sex for three months in order to donate.

It is as though the authorities had (belatedly) read my article.

There was more to it than is being stated by the BBC, though. Here’s what I wrote, back in 2014:

The ban was put in place – unless the memory cheats – because blood supplies donated by gay men were discovered to be infected with HIV. Anybody can see that a ban on anything that could spread HIV is entirely sensible and should only be lifted if technology has moved on enough for doctors to spot infected blood immediately or screen out the infection in blood that has been donated.

The issue then was that people who had been in a monogamous relationship for a long period of time, and who did not have HIV when they started it, were not going to have it when they applied to give blood either, and it was discriminatory to ban them from doing so.

The new change rectifies that. I welcome it.

Source: Blood donation: Rule change means more gay and bisexual men can give blood – BBC News

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Sappy Monday: Confusion and danger as Tories lift Covid-19 lockdown conditions too soon

Did you go down to the beach over the weekend? Then you’ve probably caught Covid-19 and are set to overburden our hospitals. Well done, you!

More people are going to die after the Tories lifted lockdown conditions too soon.

According to Boris Johnson’s silly “Defcon” scale, the UK is still at Covid Level 4: hospitals aren’t overwhelmed but the R number (the reproductive rate of Covid-19) is still above 1 in some areas, meaning more than one person is catching it for everyone who has it already. The government’s own guidance says it should continue in lockdown.

However, the Tories are behaving as if we have reached level 1, with sports events restored (starting with pigeon racing, of all things), and vulnerable people allowed to leave home for the first time in many weeks; your diabetic granny can now visit the supermarket, even if it means she catches Covid on the way and dies in a couple of weeks time. Nice! The guidance says this level is only likely to be reached when a vaccine has been created and there is no vaccine.

Schools in England have reopened but it seems the only people sending their children back are parents who have had enough of trying to “home teach” them, or who don’t understand that they won’t be able to interact with their friends without shouting.

As one response stated: schools should be places where knowledge is passed on – not Covid.

Are they safe? Judge for yourself on the basis of this:

The gullibility defies belief:

And there are inevitable contradictions:

Health officials made a desperate last-minute plea to the Tories, begging them to halt their homicidal plan to lift lockdown conditions – but their fears fell on deaf ears:

Senior public health officials have made a last-minute plea for ministers to scrap Monday’s easing of the coronavirus lockdown in England, warning the country is unprepared to deal with any surge in infection and that public resolve to take steps to limit transmisson has been eroded.

The Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) said new rules, including allowing groups of up to six people to meet outdoors and in private gardens, were “not supported by the science” and that pictures of crowded beaches and beauty spots over the weekend showed “the public is not keeping to social distancing as it was”.

On Saturday and Sunday, parks and seafronts were packed as people anticipated the lifting of restrictions on what has been dubbed “happy Monday”. Car showrooms and outdoor markets will also be reopened, millions of children will return to primary schools and the most vulnerable “shielded” people will be allowed out for the first time since lockdown began in March, all as long as physical distancing is maintained.

The argument is strong, and is supported by statistics:

The result of all this nonsense seems inevitable:

So what are you going to do? This, perhaps:

Otherwise…

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Coronavirus: the Tories are trying to blackmail other UK countries into lifting lockdown early

Rishi Sunak: he seems to be denying the facts of the coronavirus crisis, in order to force an early end to the lockdown.

Never underestimate a Tory minister who apparently has mass murder in mind:

It seems Rishi Sunak is upset that the Scottish Parliament is more concerned with saving people’s lives than getting the economy back up and running for the benefit of a cadre of lazy billionaires, and has threatened to withdraw funding for the “furlough” scheme that pays for workers to stay at home if Holyrood extends the lockdown longer than Westminster.

The UK-wide furlough scheme has been extended until October, but when Scottish ministers called for clarity about the future, they received a discouraging response:

Scottish economy ministers Kate Forbes and Fiona Hyslop … appealed to the Treausry for assurances that workers will continue to access support even if Scottish firms are not reopened at the same time as English ones.

In a letter to the Chancellor, they wrote: “We understand that the support will need to be scaled back over time, but it is imperative that is done in a carefully considered way, and reflects the economic priorities of each of the four nations and the different sectors of our economies.

“The ability to stagger the closure of the scheme may be beneficial in considering how we safely exit the restrictions currently in place.”

But [a] Downing Street source said that furlough payments are now likely to be distributed by the Treasury on a “sector-by-sector” rather than geographical basis.

The Conservative government has made it clear that it intends to lift the lockdown as soon as it considers this to be possible – but has given no reassurances at all that it will carry out any tests to prove that it is safe to do so.

Indeed, the plan to force schools to reopen at the beginning of June has become a raging controversy, with fears that teachers, parents and friends could fall victim to Covid-19, and children themselves (who seem likely to suffer only light symptoms of that disease) may succumb to a follow-on infection that bears similarities to Kawasaki disease.

Conservatives have shown no concern about these issues at all.

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Coronavirus transmission rate is increasing, so why all this talk of easing lockdown?

Dominic Raab: he reckons it will be all right to lift some lockdown restrictions, despite the fact that more people are catching Covid-19 (again).

Covid-19’s reproduction rate must be decreasing if the UK’s lockdown is to be lifted – and this critical ‘R’ rate is actually rising.

So why is all the talk about lifting the lockdown?

We’re told the speed of coronavirus infections is rising because of the epidemic that has been revealed in care homes…

… and what about the deaths in mental health hospitals and among people with learning disabilities?

These are places that may be reasonably expected to have the proper procedures in place if a pandemic sweeps the UK – unless the government failed to ensure that those procedures were in place, and all the necessary equipment was available.

(It was the government that had responsibility for emergency planning, and for ensuring that preparations were properly carried out.)

But we have a government that is also keen to lift the lockdown because its donors in big business are not making the profits they normally expect, while the people who generate those profits are being told to stay home for their own safety.

This is further evidence that, if Boris Johnson lifts his lockdown even slightly, he will set us on course for a bigger disaster.

The critical ‘R’ rate measuring the spread of coronavirus infections is on the rise again, the national statistician says – raising fresh questions about any lockdown easing.

A reproduction rate of anything above 1 means each infected person is, on average, passing it on to more than one other, but experts agree it must be well below 1 to prevent a second peak of the pandemic.

Crucially, it is the most important of the five tests before the lockdown can be eased significantly. The prime minister himself admitted there is still a “pandemic” in care homes.

The warning came as Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, said any relaxation of restrictions – to be announced by Boris Johnson on Sunday – would be “modest, small and incremental”.

Source: Coronavirus rate of transmission is increasing, says chief government statistician | The Independent

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