Tag Archives: lockdown

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?

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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Will Tories rebel against extension of English lockdown to July 19?

Staying closed: many businesses may be forced to remain closed for a further four weeks – unless Tory backbenchers ruin Boris Johnson’s plans. But will he welcome that?

Well, there it is.

Boris Johnson is expected to announce an extension to the English lockdown, meaning most remaining restrictions won’t be lifted until July 19.

There are good grounds to do so:

Many scientists have called for the reopening to be delayed to enable more people to be vaccinated and receive second doses, amid rising cases of the Delta variant.

A delay would also allow more work to be done on whether vaccines are breaking, or simply weakening, the link between infections and hospitalisations.

But it is possible that the plan will face resistance – from Conservative backbenchers who are sick of the demand that we all wear masks when we go out, observe social distancing and keep some businesses closed, harming the economy.

On the last point, the BBC provides these examples:

If the lifting of restrictions is pushed back, the UK Weddings Taskforce – an industry group – estimates that 50,000 weddings planned in the four weeks from 21 June could be cancelled, with the industry losing £325m for every week of delay.

UKHospitality, which represents pubs, bars and restaurants, said businesses faced losing £3bn in sales if the relaxation of restrictions is delayed by a month.

The Night Time Industries Association said businesses such as nightclubs had already spent millions preparing to reopen, and the association will legally challenge any delay to reopening.

But the BBC also reports that projections based on the current trend show that if the current rate of increase continues, there could be 15,000 new cases per day – at least – by June 21. That’s double the number on June 13.

Ignoring that could be a public relations disaster for Johnson, who has been vilified as a dimwit for failing to acknowledge the warnings and delaying previous lockdowns, thereby assuring the deaths of thousands of people who might otherwise have avoided infection.

Still, collective responsibility for such recklessness is better for Johnson than having the blame piled on his shoulders alone, so he may welcome a vote that defeats his extension plan.

After all, how many of you will remember if your MP votes to end lockdown too soon? How many of you will even check what your MP does?

Source: Covid: Lockdown easing in England to be delayed by four weeks – BBC News

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Prolonging the agony: Johnson to delay lifting lockdown for four weeks

Closed (still): lockdown restrictions are likely to continue beyond June 21 for another four weeks. Let’s hope Boris Johnson’s stupidity doesn’t force another extension after that.

‘Freedom Day’ – the moment when the UK is set to be free of all Covid-19-related lockdown restrictions – is to be delayed until July 19 because of Johnson’s failure to keep the delta variant out.

The new date happens to be This Writer’s birthday. Happy birthday to me!

I’m thinking of having a big party where everyone who knows me can come and do all the things we’ve all been banned from doing for the previous 16 months…

The number of infections has increased again. On Friday (June 11) there was an increase of 8,125 – up 30 per cent on the previous Friday’s 6,238 new cases, themselves a 49 per cent increase on the Friday before.

A further 17 deaths (within 28 days of a positive Covid diagnosis) were recorded – which is massively up from the zero deaths of Bank Holiday Monday (obviously).

Conspiracy theorists will be delighted because it gives them a chance to claim that the government simply doesn’t want to lift restrictions on our freedoms.

Some of them will be saying the Tories are looking for a new illness to keep us isolated. Well, it won’t be monkeypox (I hope); Hancock has reported an outbreak but it’s only two cases, isolated in North Wales.

And after all the traumatic experiences we’ve had since March 2020, our politicians would have to be really bad – a danger to the public – to let this one run as badly out of control as Covid.

Oh dear.

I suppose you’d better all prepare for the worst.

Source: June Freedom Day ‘delayed until July 19’ – but social distancing may end earlier – Mirror Online

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Tories are preparing to delay lockdown end date after Covid infections skyrocketed

Jabber Johnson: Boris Johnson has invested everything in the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccinations – but a quarter of new infections are in people who have had both injections.

The weekend turned out to be a disaster for the Tories, after all their crowing about getting Covid infections and deaths down.

On Bank Holiday Monday the government recorded no Covid-19 deaths for the first time in more than a year – but the euphoria over that was short-lived.

It was a statistical blip caused by the fact that the people who record deaths had been on holiday.

Since then, with the arrival of the Indian delta variant in the UK due to Boris Johnson’s ridiculous insistence on keeping our borders open to anybody with the virus, infection rates have skyrocketed – on Saturday, 70 per cent more people were recorded to have contracted it than the previous Saturday.

The disease is being transmitted most commonly through secondary schools after Johnson said pupils there should take off their masks.

And now we discover that one in 25 people who have been infected with the new strain are supposed to be fully inoculated against it, having had both the required vaccination injections:

What a homicidal idiot Johnson is!

So now the Tories are having to backtrack on their plan to finish lifting lockdown restrictions on June 21:

Matt Hancock says 21 June is a “not before” date for ending England’s remaining restrictions.

They are going to extend the agony for all of us – and, incidentally, harm the economy that has been their “sacred cow” throughout the crisis, because they keep making the same damned stupid mistakes.

And they’re stupid enough to think that we haven’t noticed.

Are they right, though?

I fear they may be.

After all, they’re only in power because people were stupid enough to believe the Tories’ claims that Jeremy Corbyn would be worse. And now we know he couldn’t possibly have been.

Source: Covid-19: Government ‘open’ to delaying 21 June England lockdown end date – BBC News

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Delta variant shows Tory Covid crisis will end as it began – in incompetence and corruption

Still going strong: the delta variant of Covid-19 is now dominant in the UK after more than a year of Tory refusal to close the nation’s borders – and is almost three times as likely to put you in a hospital as the original strain of the virus.

When you learn that the dominant form of Covid-19 in the UK now is the ‘delta’ variant that was discovered in India only recently, what does that tell you?

It tells This Writer that Boris Johnson’s insistence on keeping the UK’s borders open was an act of homicidal stupidity.

And it shows that the silly ‘traffic light’ system to indicate which countries are safe to visit does not work at all.

That’s because this new variant of Covid-19 has not only beaten all the supposed safeguards that Johnson’s government has imposed; it is now infecting more people than any other strain of the disease.

And it is more likely to cause serious illness than any other variant, too:

The facts show that 75 per cent of new cases are of the delta variant – and that it is being transmitted most commonly through schools.

This should end the debate over whether it was a bad idea to reopen schools while the pandemic was at its height; of course it was.

And it still is. Parents are now 1.6 times more likely to end up hospitalised if their children bring the delta variant home with them than they were with the original version of the virus last year.

It also shows that press releases from Public Health England should not be treated as factual. Consider:

Possibly the worst part of all this is that many Tory MPs seem determined to finish the “unlock” (as Grant Shapps referred to it in the Guardian article) on June 21, no matter how many people suffer as a result:

You see, your health doesn’t matter to these people. It never did.

Money matters to them.

You are stock. You are a commodity that they use in order to make money for them. The granting of billions of pounds of public money to Tory donors via PPE contracts that went unfulfilled – causing tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths – is an example of that thinking.

And if some of the stock dies out due to disease, it will replenish itself in a few years’ time, so they’re not bothered about that at all, either.

Don’t you wish you lived in New Zealand?

That country had a sensible, socialist prime minister who locked down properly, as soon as she heard a whisper about how bad Covid-19 might be – including closing all that country’s borders.

It was then able to carry on as normal, with the minimal number of cases that did present themselves receiving proper treatment, correctly isolated from the rest of the population. I believe there was a functioning test and trace system there, too.

So New Zealand has been able to function more or less as normal while other countries scrabbled to develop a vaccine – and now the vaccine is available, it is running an efficient injection programme.

The people of New Zealand chose their leaders wisely.

The UK’s diehard Tories (coupled with Labour traitors who hated Jeremy Corbyn) forced Boris Johnson on us.

They gave us the incompetence and corruption of Matt Hancock, Dominic Cummings, Gavin Williamson, Rishi Sunak and all the other ministers who have ignored their duty to the public in order to line their pockets and those of their friends.

They’re giving us the delta variant.

They’re giving us the potential of a premature end to all lockdown restrictions that would trigger yet another wave of Covid-19 infections in the summer or the autumn.

Ultimately, they have given many of us death.

 

Source: UK tightens borders and travel rules as variants spark new alarm | Coronavirus | The Guardian

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Covid-19 experience shows that when UK politicians say ‘lessons will be learned’ THEY ARE LYING

Let the bodies pile high: even if Boris Johnson didn’t say those words, that was the ultimate result. And his decision to ignore what happened – his determination that lessons won’t be learned – makes him and his party unfit to govern, at national or local level.

If the people of the UK were the kind who take notice of facts, we would be indebted to Simon Wren-Lewis of Mainly Macro for pointing out how badly our Tory government – among many others – got its strategy for Covid-19 wrong.

Professor Wren-Lewis points to a study in top medical journal The Lancet, showing that countries that tried to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 – in order to keep their economies going – caused many times the number of deaths suffered in countries that decided to eliminate the virus altogether.

And their economies suffered more, as well!

You want proof?

Here’s the chart from the Lancet article comparing the number of deaths (per million, per day) in mitigation countries (blue) with those in elimination countries (red):

That seems conclusive – as does the chart showing the effect on our respective economies:

Elimination countries saw a smaller fall in GDP, and a faster recovery at the end of 2020 and so far in 2021. There was no health/economy trade-off and anybody who suggests that is a liar.

But this is an article about whether lessons were learned – and the answer is that in the UK, they clearly weren’t.

Consider Boris Johnson’s keenness to end the first lockdown at the earliest opportunity in order to get the economy moving again.

What did he achieve? Not one, but two further lockdowns.

He learned nothing – either from the UK’s own experience or from comparisons with other nations.

He deliberately ignored the facts in order to pursue a boneheaded plan that caused tens of thousands of deaths that could have been avoided.

And he has trumpeted this national disaster as though it were a huge success.

What kind of psychopath claims that deliberately causing more than 100,000 avoidable deaths is a resounding success?

There can be only one conclusion: he didn’t learn anything from his failures because he didn’t want to.

We may take our finding from this and apply it to other situations in which bad outcomes are followed with a claim from government that “lessons will be learned”.

They won’t. These people are lying and should be ejected from government – of any kind – as soon as possible.

And guess what?

There are local elections on May 6.

Source: mainly macro: How most of the West got the pandemic so badly wrong?

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Another Covid lockdown unlikely, says scientist who broke lockdown for nookie anyway

Neil Ferguson: he broke the rules so he quit. If only some Tories had the same integrity after the event.

Isn’t it time the BBC started actually questioning what people say to its reporters, rather than just acting as stenographers?

I mean, here’s a report in which

It is unlikely that there will be more lockdowns in the UK, the scientist whose modelling led to the first nationwide restrictions has said.

Prof Neil Ferguson told the BBC the UK is “likely to be on a steady course now out of this pandemic”.

But I can’t help reminding myself that Professor Ferguson is not only the scientist whose modelling led to lockdowns but also the scientist who resigned after he was caught breaking his own lockdown rules…

… to be with a lady.

So when he says he doesn’t think there will be any more full lockdowns – while I hope that he’s right…

I can’t help questioning whether he has an ulterior motive.

Source: Another Covid lockdown unlikely, says scientist – BBC News

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Johnson accused: did he say ‘Let the bodies pile high in their thousands’?

Did he say it or didn’t he? We’ll find out whether Johnson really wanted the Covid-19-riddent bodies of ourselves, our relatives and our friends “piled high” soon enough, but in the meantime his current reputation tends to mitigate against him.

This is the kind of claim that can topple a government.

The fact that it was published by the Tory-backing Daily Mail makes it even more damaging to Boris Johnson and his regime.

Here’s what the Mail has said:

Boris Johnson said he would rather see ‘bodies pile high in their thousands’ than order a third lockdown, it was claimed last night.

The explosive remark is said to have come after he reluctantly imposed the second lockdown, sources told the Mail.

Downing Street last night strongly denied the Prime Minister made the comment, insisting it was ‘just another lie’. But those who say they heard it stand by their claim.

“Those who say they heard it” suggests very strongly that this comes from multiple sources who will support each other’s stories. That alone could destroy Downing Street’s claim.

The allegation is that Johnson made his outburst last October, in response to a warning by Michael Gove that, if Johnson did not order a third lockdown, soldiers would be needed to guard hospitals overrun with victims of Covid-19.

This was before there was even one vaccine, remember, but after Covid-related infections and deaths had begun to multiply exponentially.

It was not until January 4 this year that Johnson gave in and ordered a third lockdown after all.

The claim is so incendiary because the first duty of any government is to protect the population of the nation it has been elected to represent.

If Johnson really said he would happily see the dead bodies of fellow UK citizens “piled high”, rather than ask his friends in business to suffer further disruption (that they would suffer in any case, once the virus took hold) then his words represent a betrayal of his most fundamental duty.

Don’t just take my word for it:

How will this affect public support for Johnson, as the story develops over the coming days and weeks?

Well, we’ll have local elections in a little over a week.

Let’s see what happens to the opinion polls – and to the vote itself.

Source: Covid UK: Boris Johnson said he’d rather ‘bodies pile high’ than have third lockdown, sources claim | Daily Mail Online

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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