What’s freedom for if it ain’t?

Lockdown easing is not an invitation to ‘run to people’s houses and drink beer’ says First Minister

After all, the pubs are still closed aren’t they?

57 thoughts on “What’s freedom for if it ain’t?”

  1. I’m reminded of the schoolboy joke about windchimes keeping wild elephants out of the garden. The flowerbeds have not been trampled, which proves the windchimes work.

    The government will lift the lockdown inch by painful inch, and when nothing happens, as indeed nothing would happen if the lockdown was ended immediately, they will claim that it proves a gradual lifting was the correct decision.

  2. been going round my mates and sitting in his back garden for the last2 saturdays drinking beer. he’s 78 and I’m on the extremely vulnerable list. Going again tomorrow presuming we don’t die of covid overnight(washes hands furiously)

  3. “not an invitation to ‘run to people’s houses and drink beer”

    A Scotsman needs an invitation to do that now does he!? This sure is an ever-changing world.

  4. Dennis: Oppressor, Warmonger, Capitalist and Consumer of Petroleum Products

    In ‘Merica: CDC says between 02.10.20 and 05.16.20 69,000 people died of COVID19 alone. 81% of those deaths were people aged 65+. 33% of all deaths were in people 85+.

    In the same time period deaths from pneumonia alone exceeded 87,000. Pneumonia can be transmitted via virus (as well as bacteria and fungi).

    Lockdown was based not on science, but on the wild guesses of scientists. There’s a difference, and that difference is important. As the data continues to roll in, what we can say is that going into lockdown was an understandable overreaction. That governments have persisted have continued lockdowns in the face of mounting evidence that they are largely ineffectual suggests (at least here in the States) that certain politicians are using it as a dress rehearsal for something far more sinister.

  5. I’m in my garden reading Roger Moore’s excellent, funny and witty autobiography. When beer gardens open I will visit the excellent Royal Oak in Cornsay Colliery. I can just feel the positivity in the air, so I took a punt in Wetherspoons and Greggs. What a glorious day.

  6. Bloke in North Powys

    Despite the couple of comments referring to Scotland the quote is from our wonderful Welsh FM, Mark Drakeford. For only £500 million a year “our” Welsh Assembly is able to come out with things like this that are deliberately different to the English rules, apparently just to annoy us. The support for “Abolish the Welsh Assembly” Party is currently at about 25%. Hopefully it will be over 50% next time we have a vote on it. I suppose we should be grateful that there are going to only be two layers of useless government once we are properly out of the EU. Oh to get it down to one! Off down the pub to get some loose beer out via the back door…

  7. The lockdown was sold as the way to keep health care industry from being flooded. Health care industry was not flooded, and cases are now diminishing. Lockdown should have been ended when case load started trending down and the threat to health care ended.

    The objective was to slow the ramp up, not to prevent the disease. The lockdowns are now destructive. Medically, as well as economically.

    From Delingpole:

    ‘Wittkowski, who holds two doctorates in computer science and medical biometry, believes the coronavirus should be allowed to create “herd immunity,” and that short of a vaccine, the pandemic will only end after it has sufficiently spread through the population.

    “With all respiratory diseases, the only thing that stops the disease is herd immunity. About 80% of the people need to have had contact with the virus, and the majority of them won’t even have recognized that they were infected,” he says in the now-deleted video.’

    My theory is that we are approaching herd immunity, even though we are way below 80% exposure.

  8. Lockdown was based not on science, but on the wild guesses of scientists.

    What you mean the crazy suggestion that people who are not in the same room are unlikely to infect each other ?Its like position one in the Vatican sex manual,( be in another house ), or the way I fix things …” ..needed 1 nail used 90 but its not fucking coming off is it “.
    Works just fine. There was ample data when the virus got to the Uk and in the fatal two weeks of dither when quarantine should have come in with lock down It was thanks to the dim witted Libertarians having some Prep school debate that the UK let the virus get out of control, as a direct consequence of which, so many the old have died it shitty little rooms on their own.

    There will be reckoning for the serial incompetence of this government but should it additionally be proved that they actually allowed the sort of infantile “Freedom” nonsense to affect Policy … there will be nowhere to hide.

  9. Well, Nobel prize winning professor Michael Levitt Stanford Uni says lock down didn’t save lives but may have cost them. Guess whose expertise I trust more.
    The real human catastrophe was nhs managers turfing out the old to care homes to free up beds for the forthcoming apocalypse which of course did not / will not materialize.
    The economic catastrophe will be upon us for a long time to come with untold human cost to our and the next generation

  10. Who gives a Flying f**k about the welsh Scottish stormont assemblies? They account for 15% of UK population.
    Run by a welsh nobody, an evil pixie , and jointly a slightly unhinged madwoman and Sinn Fein / IRA witch

  11. Jussi,
    The scientists all agree on on thing: that religion is flawed because it’s too open to interpretation and self-serving beliefs.

  12. “Well, Nobel prize winning professor Michael Levitt Stanford Uni says lock down didn’t save lives but may have cost them. Guess whose expertise I trust more.”

    Yeah, Newmania’s OBVIOUSLY

  13. I would like to pose a few questions on Herd Immunity:
    Is it the only term in use for the phenomenon?
    And does it work in an entirely binary way; today we have not crossed the threshold (let’s say 60%), tomorrow we will have and so we will be safe?
    Could there not be a notion of resistence to it building;10% being much better than 5%, 15% better still and 25% being “time to hug your granny while naked”?

  14. Bloke in North Dorset

    Bloke in North Powys,

    A very good mate has been contracting to the Welsh government for a few years, enough to make it worthwhile him buying a flat in Cardiff as he lives in North Wales (but he’s English). he’s worked all over the world including for DCMS in London.

    He reckons the civil servants working in Cardiff are the most useless bunch of people its ever been his misfortune to work with or for. Apparently you only need two qualifications to work there, fluent Welsh and hatred of the English.

  15. Hi, Ironman. Hope you are doing well.

    Community immunity is another name for it.

    It works in two ways:

    1. Once a lot of people have been exposed (80%?), they are no longer vulnerable. You reach a point where there aren’t many left who could catch it;

    2. Once enough people have been exposed to it and have developed antibodies, they can no longer spread it. 5 months ago, nearly everyone could catch it and spread it. Now, some number less (40%? 60%?) can spread it. So that even if a carrier goes into Walmart, far fewer will get it, and spread it.

    As an aside, it’s possible that Covid-19 is seasonable. As the northern hemisphere approaches summer, cases are going down. Causation, or just correlation? Don’t know.

  16. “The lockdowns are now destructive. Medically, as well as economically”

    Professor Karol Sikora:
    “In the last two months we should have diagnosed 60,000 people with cancer”

    That’s over 50% more that the “official” CV death count, which is highly suspect with mounting evidence of CV being the cause put on the death certificate, even when there was no proof.


  17. infantile “Freedom” nonsense

    Just a liberal one nation Tory speaking there, folks.

    Apparently you only need two qualifications to work there, fluent Welsh and hatred of the English.

    There’ll be more than your mate moving from North Wales then; only about 5 people in Cardiff speak Welsh.

  18. The Meissen Bison

    Herd immunity applies particularly if you tend to wander around in herds which is nice for, inter alia, bison.

    Pride immunity is a cis-constructed heteronormative phenomenon. Lions!

  19. Ironman

    “Time to hug your granny while naked”.

    Can we please leave Macron out of this? He’s in enough trouble already for allegedly incinerating and not replacing almost 90% of his country’s reserve stock of face masks.

  20. On reading this thread, 3 things spring to mind.
    1/I have 2 cases of beer, don’t tell Jussi
    2/newtwat wrote “needed 1 nail used 90 but its not fucking coming off is it “… What does that mean? Any clues as to what language?
    3/”There was ample data when the virus got to the Uk and in the fatal two weeks of dither when quarantine should have come in with lock down”. Someone with the intellectual capacity you think you have, newtwat, would be able to discern from the stats that the infection rate was decreasing the week before lockdown. The public was acting without mummy Government wiping our bottoms. In newtwat’s world, he is the only intelligent person. The fact that reality says he is the stupidest person alive is probably feeding his psychosis. How does your thumb taste today, Newmy?

  21. I think I live about 260 miles from Cornsay Colliery. Deerness valley way. Sounds ideal for a holiday. 260 miles in the other direction includes bits of France Belgium and Wales so nah, not yet.

  22. Herd immunity (also called herd effect, community immunity, population immunity, or social immunity)

  23. Excellent point, Dave Ward. Beyond Covid, bad medical things are happening because of Covid actions. Personally, I have a bleeding lesion on my nose I need checked. Can’t til dermatologist’s office opens back up.

    Also, Covid actions are killing people in care homes indirectly, though I can’t quantify. A worker at the gym [yeah! gym is back open] told me her mother died a few weeks ago. Her mother had some dementia, wasn’t fully there mentally. When family stopped visiting her, she concluded that her family had died from this horrendous virus she had heard talk of. She decided she wanted to be with her deceased family. Quit eating. Went catatonic. And died.

    The “no visitors” rule had a part in it, too. My late mother would occasionally stop eating. My brother who watched over her and the care home she was in, would blast the staff for not making her eat. Part of assisted living is to get them to eat, whether they want to or not. And take their medicine. With no family members able to visit family in homes today, there is no telling what outrages are being perpetrated, or, the greatest hazard, plain neglect.

  24. The HSJ reports today that surgical operations will resume but at half the normal rate, until coronavirus restrictions are lifted, There was little redundancy in the system before, so this suggests to me that the waiting lists will continue to increase and the only way they can be contained is by death.

  25. I was just thinking today what might have happened if there hadn’t been a lockdown. On the one hand, I might have been dead. In my seventies, dicky ticker and with tickets for five more Operas in May and June. So, train to London, nice crowded tube journey, busy restaurant, packed auditorium; with five attempts I might have had pretty good chance of catching the chinky lurgi.

    On the other hand, my ophthalmology appointment wouldn’t have been cancelled and I might have got a cardiology appointment and maybe a date for a new heart valve op.

    Still, it would have been my choice whether or not to go to town, (though I suspect the ROH would have shut down on it’s own. In fact I have a vague memory that it did close before the official lockdown. Much of the audience is in the ‘high risk’ category.)

    Oh well, back to watching free streaming opera. It was Cendrillon from the ROH this afternoon, Les Troyens from the Met this evening, yesterday was War and Peace from OperaVision and Ernani from the Met. It’s a real struggle to fit it all in.

  26. Bongo, I’d say Cornsay Colliery and the terraced houses on top of the hill (Wick’s Hill) are the most looked after front gardens I have seen in the north east. Postcard perfect. Unfortunately there is a rat run there so litter gets thrown out the car windows. No doubt people doing this live in council houses ie they like to shit where they live. I prefer cul-de-sacs with no public footpaths and I’d never have a party wall so I am limited in that sense.

  27. Bloke in North Powys


    I suspected as much. I do have Welsh ‘O’ level. Will that get me a cushy job in Cardiff?

    I can now, well, from next Monday, visit people up to 5 miles away. Could count those on the fingers of one hand!

  28. I am also of the opinion that the green belt is sacred. Sacrosanct. Never should be built on, emigrate to fucking deepest ubangi Africa if you can’t afford an existing house or a new build. There’s this chap on twatter Simon Cooke, @SimonMagus, otherwise quite reasonable ideas and opinions but wants to build on green belt.Over my fucking cold dead body.

    (I am not on twitter but I piggyride this one interesting account feed in order to get the general idea of what’s going on)

  29. Herd immunity: children <11 seem to be naturally immune – they've spread zero cases – thus the 80% should be reduced accordingly

    Lockdown: open mic confirms sceptics correct
    ‘It’s All Bullsh*t,’ Russia’s Coronavirus Information Chief Says of Virus Fears
    “In an interview that aired Wednesday, Myasnikov gestured for the cameras to stop running and said candidly: “It’s all bullsh*t.”

    “It’s all exaggerated. It’s an acute respiratory disease with minimal mortality,” he told television personality Ksenia Sobchak in the interview for her YouTube project.

    “Why has the whole world been destroyed? That I don’t know,” Myasnikov said”

    Models are bullsh1t too:
    Why No One Can Explain the Drop in Coronavirus Cases in Israel
    “Policy decisions were based on contagion models”
    “All their models were based on mathematical assumptions on the rate of contagion that in the end proved wrong. To their immense disappointment, it turns out the coronvirus is a biological phenomenon that doesn’t fit the rules of mathematics. The bastard killer didn’t study math at an advanced level and to the shock of those doing the calculations tended to change its behavior over time”

  30. The support for “Abolish the Welsh Assembly” Party is currently at about 25%. Hopefully it will be over 50% next time we have a vote on it.

    One thing about the referendum that caused this welsh assembly to be set up that you’ll rarely hear post 2016, is that the winning vote share was 50.3%, on a turnout of 50.1% – a majority of less than 7000 votes (559419 in favour, 552698 against). (source: http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/RP97-113/RP97-113.pdf)

    Oh, and this is comical (source: http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/RP97-129/RP97-129.pdf):

    Costs of establishing and running the Assembly
    4.45 The costs of establishing the Assembly will be met from the Welsh Block, as it emerges from the
    Comprehensive Spending Review. They will comprise:
    • one-off costs for acquiring and equipping a building for the Assembly. The Government estimates that,
    for the sites which it is considering, the costs would fall in the range of £12 million to £17 million;
    • annual administrative costs of the Assembly, including holding elections. The Government estimates
    that the average annual running costs of the Assembly will be in the range £15 million to £20 million, or
    around £6 for each person in Wales, This would be in addition to the running costs of the Welsh office,
    which are around £72 million a year. These figures assume up to 100 additional staff, and include the cost
    of the Secretary of State for Wales’ office.

  31. “Herd immunity: children <11 seem to be naturally immune – they've spread zero cases – thus the 80% should be reduced accordingly"

    Good point, Pcar. Children (0-17) in the U.S. comprise about 22% of the population. A big head start on the numbers needed for herd immunity.

  32. The fact that he stated that they were giving people permission shows how authoritarian it’s all become, rights are not being given back they freely

  33. @Jussi

    My favourite Roger Moore story.

    Badly prepared interviewer- Do you still spend time with your good friend Tony Curtis?

    Cool, suave Roger Moore – no, not since he died.

  34. News
    Trump terminates relationship with World Health Organization

    A president with balls, and who loves America. God bless Donald Trump #Trump2020 #​MAGA

    Do same to UNICEF and rest of UN charlatans

    In UK we’re still waiting for BoJo to put Great back into Britain, but chump’s selected reverse gear

  35. And does it work in an entirely binary way; today we have not crossed the threshold (let’s say 60%), tomorrow we will have and so we will be safe?

    Not binary. It works on the chances of you catching it from someone else in the community. The more who are immune, the fewer who can carry it and hence the fewer chances you have of catching it from them.

    Even a low rate of immunity, say 20-30%, would slow down any rate of growth. My guess would be that any resurgence this summer/autumn will be slower, as the higher rate of immunity in London and the cities will slow it down a bit there, and elsewhere even informal social distancing and lower population density (plus lack of mass transit) will have the same effect.

  36. Even with an 80% immunity rate it doesn’t mean you will never catch it; there is still that “1 in 5”, you might be unlucky. The ‘immunity’ really means at a group, community, population level – you might be unlucky enough to get it but it won’t spread widely.

  37. Lockdown easing is not an invitation to ‘run to people’s houses and drink beer’

    How about wine? We need clear instructions from the government, this vague guidance is confusing.

  38. And of course some people are more likely than others to infect people. Someone who lives alone, doesn’t use public transport and rarely goes to crowded indoor places is much less likely to get infected (and pass it on to others) compared to, say, someone who works in London, using a packed train and tube to get to work, then on Saturday plays rugby as a prop forward (close contact with heavy physical effort, very bad for the spread of a respiratory disease, especially scrums!) and drinks all night in a crowded noisy pub (so he has to shout at close range to be heard). If he is an asymptomatic carrier he could infect a hundred people easily that day.

    So these ‘socially gregarious’ people are more likely to catch it in the first wave, so even a low immunity rate of about 20-30% could well have a disproportionate effect suppressing the size and length of any further waves.

  39. Rob: Once the herd immunity gets high enough, the probability of an infected person infecting someone else gets very low, so the infection dies out naturally when every infected person doesn’t infect anyone else. However this relies on there being no other reservoir of infection (animals). It’s possible that this one will survive by mutating so that herd immunity drops significantly – if it’s different enough there will be enough people no longer immune to that strain that it will circulate.

  40. This may have already been covered somewhere, but I notice the media give out deaths related to the CCP virus, even if the actual cause of death is cancer, heart failure, or ingrowing toenails, but don’t give out numbers of those newly infected. Is the rate of infection going down, increasing, or remaining static?

  41. The numbers of those newly infected is going down in most U.S. states, though not all. Even with eased lockdowns.

    South Carolina seems to be at about 100 new cases and 10 deaths per day. Been that way for weeks. Population 5,000,000.

  42. numbers of those newly infected.

    Daily number of lab-confirmed cases in England by specimen date.
    ‘Cases’ has been going down for two months now. ‘Cases’ = tested, if not tested then that implies either not serious enough for medical attention or at death’s door from other causes.

  43. Such complexity, though. It seems that other coronaviruses attack Mr 19. Perhaps this virus is black

  44. “you might be unlucky enough to get it but it won’t spread widely”

    Yep. Like the last soldiers to die in WWI and WWII, someone is going to be the unlucky bastard who dies last from Covid-19.

  45. “Lockdown easing is not an invitation to ‘run to people’s houses and drink beer’ ”

    Is it ok to just quad the beer instead?


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