A Prayer for those who’ve lost loved ones in the last year:
24 May the Lord bless you and guard you;
25may the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
26may the Lord look kindly on you and give you peace
Numbers 6: 24-26 – Revised English Bible
Thank you for the overwhelming response that I’ve received to my two last blog posts. There’s little doubt in my mind that as the months tick past, so the number of people who are unhappy is increasing fast. Here are my remaining points to add to my last post about what we’ve learned in the last year:
- There’s no proper research to show that lockdowns work once a disease has entered the general population. There’s growing evidence that lockdowns may have extended the length of the pandemic and that eventually almost all countries with similar density of population and underlying metabolic health will end up with very similar mortality figures. If you still don’t believe this, then please study this group of most important documents: https://www.hartgroup.org/covid-19-evidence/
- There’s a growing level of evidence that the cost of lockdown, as opposed to the cost of COVID, is going to be catastrophic in terms of economic meltdown, deterioration in mental health and early deaths arising from a partly functioning health service. These were all avoidable!
- We’ve learned that because no-one under the age of 60 has ever experienced a true recession, our country has forgotten how serious severe economic recession and high unemployment can be.
- We’ve learned that bad metabolic health, bad diet and high levels of obesity are real killers in ways that had not previously been imagined, and we’ve also learned that this problem is far more acute in modern western societies than in the Third World.
- We’ve learned that not many people are able either to present or to understand statistics. There’s a case that our children should be taught this (surely more useful than Algebra for most people?) as part of the basic teaching of Maths in schools.
- Although this isn’t universally accepted, we’ve learned that COVID is a mile from being the most dangerous health challenge we face. The official statistics show less than 130,000 deaths out of a population of 67m – one death per 515 of the population, with almost all of them over 75 and with an average age of death that is one year higher than the average life expectancy in the UK. I’m left wondering what our response would have been if we’d had a genuine killer pandemic, like Bubonic Plague, Smallpox or Ebola? The impression that we’ve been in the middle of a killer pandemic has been a deliberate feature of the government’s policy and it may come back to haunt them, like the boy who cried ‘Wolf!’
- We’ve learned that there’s a growing dependence in our culture on algorithmic projections/mathematical models. Not only are these nothing more than computer-driven guesses, reminding us of the old saying ‘Garbage in, garbage out’ but we’ve also learned that many of these ‘models’ do not even vaguely resemble what has subsequently been witnessed in the real world. Do people have any understanding of this issue?
Testing, transmission and immunity
- We’ve learned that mass testing of asymptomatic people is very expensive and contributes very little to the rate of spread of COVID.
- We’ve learned that there’s very little evidence that COVID is spread asymptomatically (see the Hartgroup report mentioned above for analysis)
- We’ve learned that ‘T cell memory’ can provide immunity that lasts for many years and evidence is growing that such immunity works across all Coronavirus variants.
- We’ve learned that any mass testing of asymptomatic people is likely to be subject to many ‘false positives’ and the data arising from it cannot be the basis for sound decision-making on its own. We also know that the government has refused to state what the PCR false positive rate is. Why? Other research suggests it may be within the range of 0.8 to 4.0%, which is far more serious than it sounds, particularly with falling prevalence of the virus in the population.
- We know that a lack of Vitamin D3 in the winter months can be serious not just for susceptibility to COVID, but also for a range of other diseases. It’s extraordinary that Vitamin D supplements are not recommended for most people, but above all for those with a BAME background, who suffer from a lack of Vitamin D3 more than white people. Sweden’s Somali population has suffered a COVID death rate that’s four times that of the white Swedish population. A deficiency of Vitamin D3 is likely to be the main reason.
Vaccines & International government
- We’ve discovered that we have a world class drugs industry in the UK, capable of reacting very quickly indeed to a crisis.
- We’ve learned that large trans-national bodies like the EU are unable to react quickly enough to challenges like COVID and offer no advantages to outweigh their desperately slow decision-making.
- We’ve learned that ‘the precautionary principle’ can stifle all innovation and risk-taking. The impact of this on the remaining countries in the EU are likely to be serious in the long term, and not just in drug production.
- We’ve learned that it’s very easy, when playing cheap politics, to damage trust in a vaccine, and almost impossible to rebuild it, once it’s been lost.
- We’ve learned that trade barriers against essential medical supplies are a cheap way of diverting attention from your inefficiencies and generating xenophobia in your population. Such threats, at the time of an international health crisis, should be considered to be crimes against humanity.
- We’ve learned that Government and pharmaceutical companies appear to be interested only in high-cost vaccines and not in cheaper, previously available treatments and drugs that have shown promise in real-life conditions.
Children & Young People
- Our children and young people have been ‘blamed’ along with the ‘irresponsible’ for spreading COVID to the vulnerable, in the face of evidence to the contrary. University students have been treated atrociously.
- Our children and young people have been sacrificed on the altar of Lockdown. Statistically, they’ve been almost infinitesimally unlikely to suffer from COVID and yet their schooling and exams have been ruined, in cold blood. The burden of repaying the eye-wateringly high public borrowing will fall onto their shoulders for decades to come. We should be utterly ashamed of how we’ve treated our young people.
- Our government is now said to be considering vaccinating children. Can this possibly be true, that we are considering giving children a vaccine for a condition to which they are not susceptible and which has not yet finished its long-term trials? This is the very definition of a crime against humanity and I’m really shocked that this suggestion has been accepted without howls of protest.
There are two further things I’d like to add, before giving COVID issues a break and starting to prepare myself for Holy Week and Easter.
Firstly, when I wrote my post about ‘Why I’m not having the vaccine’ I was unaware that a component used in the design of at least one of the vaccines comes from cell lines replicated from foetuses aborted years ago. Thanks to the irreverendpodcast for enlightening me on this. For the sake of fairness, I have to say that some have only used foetal replicated cells in design, not production. Other vaccines appear to have used them in both; information is hard to come by. I’m extremely uncomfortable about this, and in particular that people being offered the vaccine have not been informed about it.
Secondly, I’ve found myself wondering: How many people who’ve rushed to have the vaccine would instantly reject the idea of buying food products containing genetically-modified ingredients?
May our gracious and loving God be with those who’ve lost friends and relatives in the last year; not just the 130,000 who’ve died from or with COVID, but the more than 450,000 who’ve died of other causes. Enlighten those who govern us, Lord, that they may become more sensitive to the impacts of their decisions. Amen