Gee, ya think?

Some ministers believe the ‘draconian’ measures have gone far enough and risk harming the economy

Of course these are politicians so they’ve still not grasped it. Of course the restrictions harm the economy. That’s not even the issue. What should be – but so far isn’t – is that allowing the disease to rip through will be damaging, harming the economy is damaging, what we need is the right balance between the two.

30 thoughts on “Gee, ya think?”

  1. There isn’t a sane politician in the world that will let this one “rip through”.. Doing serious damage to the economy is less risky than letting even one bereaved family cry that “the Govt.” din’t care about precious Grammaw ( aged 98 ) and just let her die”.
    That’ll bite you in the arse come next election. One must be seen to Do Something.

    Even though the “let it rip” approach might well be the best long-term approach we have.
    Humankind has become essentially a single population again, and a densely populated one at that, in this modern global world. This one simply kills the Old, Weak, Infirm. Which in any other population but humans is considered to make the species stronger..
    The next one may well be not so …benevolent and polite… and may well kill indiscriminately..

    And like it or not, current (medical) science cannot whip up an antiviral on the fly, nor will it be able to in the next decade or so… So there will be another one…

  2. On the understanding that this is opinion only. I tend to think that Sweden, so far, has it about right. Sure, there’s danger. So, advise. But don’t close down.

    And in about 3 months we’re going to find out if they were right.

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    When this started the aim was to “flatten the curve” (that phrase seems to have disappeared from the narrative) so that the health services wouldn’t get overwhelmed. That was a real threat and did require some extraordinary measures. As Sam Bowman points out:

    Two, in a scenario where hundreds of thousands of people were dying, the NHS would become overwhelmed and the average age of the people dying would likely fall, so the number of life-years lost is probably an underestimate, and possibly an enormous one if the average age of death fell as the NHS had to prioritise younger patients. And the misery involved would be appalling. It would mean people dying in their beds alone at home, some of dehydration and starvation alongside their pneumonia, with no palliative care of any kind.

    In that scenario we we would have been well on the way to a Corbyn government and a truly trashed economy.

    The containment phase was working, we were told, but the government came under extreme political pressure to do more and “lock down” mostly because other countries were doing it. They caved in, some argue just bringing the inevitable forward, but there seemed to be little justification because the NHS was saying it would be able to cope.

    Now we have Sweden leading the way it is in all our interests they don’t cave in to political and journalist pressure because we need to know what works and doesn’t work. Of course if their chief epidemiologist proposes it then that’s different, but so far he’s held out.

    At the end of this there are many people who face a reckoning but close to the top of this are journalists and their bosses.

    On top of that we now have some really nasty legislation that wen through Parliament without scrutiny and with the blessing of the likes of Owen Jones, who ha spent the past 6 months calling Bories literally Hitler, then not Hitler enough. And where are those journalists on this? Nowhere to be found:

    One of the most remarkable things about the authoritarian measures ushered in by the UK’s Tory government is how little opposition they have faced from the left. After spending months insisting Boris Johnson is a would-be far-right despot, many supposed leftists have spent the past few weeks actively demanding that Johnson put them under house arrest. Most notable among them was the Guardian’s Owen Jones, who greeted the suspension of our civil liberties with genuine relief.

  4. BiND: ’… but there seemed to be little justification because the NHS was saying it would be able to cope.’

    Who was daft enough to believe them?

  5. It is a damp squib. Were it mass killer , masses would have been killed by now.

    Ruining an already dodgy world economy will be by far the worse consequence. Some people remembering the 1930s doesn’t mean they wont be replayed.

    For a bunch of losers the Swedes have it right. And mass manufacture of effective masks worth more than ventilators . Which are for most palliative care on the way to the Last Round-up.

  6. Now we have Sweden leading the way it is in all our interests they don’t cave in to political and journalist pressure because we need to know what works and doesn’t work. Of course if their chief epidemiologist proposes it then that’s different, but so far he’s held out.

    He’s already said the issue is one of timing; not bringing it in too soon so people abide by it at the most beneficial time. So it seems to when, not if.

    I see some of our lot are now laying down sand for the end of the lockdown by talking about herd immunity again.

  7. I’m partly with Gilkrath in that we should have let this play out and sucked it up. The government’s call was primarily about ‘saving’ the NHS, when we should have used the epidemic as an excuse to put the NHS out of its misery.

    The journos and their bosses are a pain, but let’s face it, a lot of their opprobrium is a hangover from Brexit. They despise us for voting in Boris and will do everything they can to rub our noses in it.

  8. Grikath–We can’t live our likes like Howard Hughes crapping ourselves in case the next attack from the germ kingdom is due.

    We can see most germs off reasonably well. Virus–another issue.

    What we need is to find and nurture some real scientists at real centres of learning –not Marxist shithole Unis.

    A new breed of men to rival Pasteur and Erlich –not fuckwit, bullshit “modellers” like Ferguson and the Marxist climate liars.

    We need to have the power to destroy Virii as easily as they can destroy us. That is our future safety –not some pants-shitting germaholic police state.

  9. The infection and death curves for Sweden are uncannily similar to those of UK and France. It’s a bit early to say that lockdown is pointless. But ask again in a week.

  10. “We can see most germs off reasonably well.” So far. But the other great epidemic worry is the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Those and viruses could give mankind a nasty left-right.

  11. The msm tells me 80 and 90 year olds are” tragically lost to Covid!”
    What are they trying to do, abolish death ? (I’m sure there’s a medieval tale on the subject)

    Technocrats have shown the same lack of skill in modelling and the same hysteria as the climate catastrophists, except this time it’s not for the children but the ancients. The children will inherit smoke and rubble if we continue to allow the experts to direct our actions which is maybe why Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes regard themselves as essential services.

  12. The most important thing Australia did was close its border to all but residents and quarantine all returnees for 14 days. Unfortunately, it didn’t initially clamp down on cruise ships, 10% of all cases are from one cruise ship, the Ruby Princess.

    So far there have been 30 deaths since the first on 1 March and new cases are declining.

    Some of the restrictions have been petty and pointless and some measures odd (doubling unemployment for those already unemployed and free childcare for those in work), but in general, for many of us, things are not too bad. MrsBud and I are both still working, as a healthcare worker she can shop in special healthcare worker and old people hours. The worst for us is that we can’t get down to Brisbane for our granddaughter’s third birthday and we’re missing out on our UK holiday.

    The Australian governments need to make sure they don’t overplay their hand and keep the restrictions in place too long.

  13. Antibiotics is a political problem .

    Bureaucrats are that afraid of another Thalidomide landing in their lap it takes more time –and vast cash–to get drugs approved than it takes for bugs to evolve.

    So we also get Pharma with an extra incentive to cheat on results in the hope of getting back their huge expenditures on drugs that might easily be turned down.

  14. Ljh +1
    The older you are the more likely you are to die, and the older you are the more likely to die in winter. Under 65? nothing especially risky about winter. Over 85, you are in God’s Waiting Room, if not called this winter, maybe next. Memento Mori

  15. Our daughter and two granddaughters cannot come and visit us in our six bedroom, three reception room mansion where the granddaughters can lose themselves because they would be three people. We, however, as just two people, can go and visit them in their three bedrooms, one reception room home where we’d all have to be in one room.

  16. ‘ What should be – but so far isn’t – is that allowing the disease to rip through will be damaging…’

    Damaging how? It is not bothering 99% of the population and is serious or deadly only in the top age group and even then mostly where the subject is already in poor health or hospitalised.

    We do know this from evidence from the Diamond Princess cruise ship and the low number of cases being reported, over 90% of which with mild symptoms, and a very low death rate.

    The focus is on contagion, not effect.

    As for ‘ripping through’, after two to three months it probably has ripped through, but because typically victims are asymptomatic (new data from China shows 4/5 infected are asymptomatic – yes China, so careful) or have non-bothersome symptoms the number infected is grossly underestimated. It seems politicians are seeing reported cases as being the same as total number infected, therefore many more to go.

    Closing, horse, stable, bolted, door…. make a sentence.

  17. Another issue is that from the current figures it’s difficult to work out a mortality as there’s no clear figure for how long the illness takes. Comparing today’s deaths with today’s cases gives 10% fatality, but comparing today’s deaths with cases two weeks ago assuming two weeks’ incubation give 114% fatality – which makes no sense. Plus the recorded number of cases is only those people who have turned up at a hospital. There will more more cases out there, nonsympomatic or mildly sympomatic, which will increase the numerator and decrease the fatality.

  18. The Speccy article linked above echoes my own thoughts. Ventilation is pretty much a last throw of the dice for those whose lungs are failing for whatever reason. I wonder what the death rate is across all those placed on ventilation in an ICU? More than 50% I’d guess (although no doubt without it, it would have been close to 100%).

    There’s some squawking that those in care homes may be ‘denied’ access to a ventilator. My sis is a GP whose patch includes a couple of large care homes – she’s never had anyone given ventilation, it’s not a good way to go for anyone nearing end of life.

  19. jgh

    As you rightly point out, we shouldn’t even be trying to work out mortality from current cases / deaths, that’s a waste of time.

    There is enough other stuff reported on this now to suggest that mortality is probably something like “1% or less” – whatever “less” means. And with a large skew upwards within that for the elderly (and hence skew downwards for those younger and without health conditions).

    Hence, we work out cases backwards, with reasonable margins, and taking into account the time lags etc you refer to.

    Which suggests that it is highly likely that it has already spread considerably more widely (certainly in the UK), and which – when taking into account smell test – is increasingly consistent with all the anecdote many of us now have with regard to our own personal networks.

    If the oldies (who skew that % up) can, for their own good health, take all the extra precautions they can re isolating whilst this plods its way through, assuming no imminent vaccine that might justify this current nonsense, we might “as a collective” come out of the other end relatively unscathed? However insensitive that might sound. The oldies at that point are in far less danger – R decreases as the % who have had it increases (assuming that immunity holds true).

    If Boris and his “experts” continue to take a different course, it really does need to be due to something that is completely unknown at this point (such as contrary evidence suggesting that mortality in the UK is higher than expected, or something like that)?

  20. Bloke in North Dorset

    I’ve just been listening to this week’s Spiked podcast and they were talking to a Swedish journalist, quite interesting. She made the point that Sweden is a high trust society in that they both trust their institutions and each other. She also said that its illegal for ministers to meddle in the way their public institutions work, they just set budgets.

    She then went on to say that the areas where they’ve had most deaths were, to nobody’s surprise, immigrant areas where those immigrants come from low trust societies.

  21. BiND

    Does anyone have any data on this stuff, ie, anything at all beyond age and conditions etc (oh, and men, far more likely than women). And other countries? I’ve come across some whispers (by definition, unreliable) and that’s it?

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