Student lockdowns

Students at universities in the Glasgow region are effectively being held under house arrest in their halls of residence. According to this particular Nicola, it is for their own good. The students are apparently at serious risk of dying from coronavirus.

If we turn to the data to see how many people under 30 have died from Covid in Scotland since the pandemic began, the number is in fact zero.

I have to admit that Mr. Ormerod pisses me off. For he occupies the sensible, free market-ish with provisos, economics slot at City AM. Which leaves me without a look-in there.

Plus he writes better than I do but that’s just piling insult upon injury.

23 thoughts on “Student lockdowns”

  1. “If we turn to the data to see how many people under 30 have died from Covid in Scotland since the pandemic began, the number is in fact zero.”

    The Coronahysterics can always point to the “ah but if we hadn’t locked down everyone would be dead by now” argument. And if we look at Sweden, with no lockdown, there is the terrifying statistic that 12 people under 30 have died. A terrifying 76 people under 50.

  2. The whole thrust of the messaging from pro-lockdown public sector scientists and bureaucrats is negative. Some may think this is because of the incentives they face. The bigger the threat the virus apparently presents, the more their importance and influence grows.

    Mebbe, but I reckon it’s more about fear than power. Especially after TPTB fucked up badly over care homes (which in itself was due to overreacting out of fear). Nothing bad seems likely to happen to doommonger-in-chief Dr. Ferguson after his ridiculous models turned out to be wildly overeggy, but if he’d gone t’other way and played down the risk he’d probably have been flayed.

    We are ruled by cowardly cretins, and a large section of the public are also cowardly fools who think politicians can save them from the Dour Harvester.

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    Sometimes I think that the SNP is controlled by the Tories. It makes sense really.

    In this case students are reliable left wing voters. I am pretty sure that until yesterday the SNP was the most popular party on campus. The only worse thing they could have done is insist the female students wear those Handmaid costumes and make everyone eat their asparagus.

    Those the Gods would destroy ….

  4. ‘tis true Mr Ormerod writes well, isn’t an idiot and comes down on the right side of brexit. However he doesn’t have a clue about the distinction between CFR and IFR and he also stood for the Labour Party in a general election, so he’s not quite the full ticket.

  5. @ Steve
    “…a large section of the public are also cowardly fools …”

    Somewhat OT but I was pondering this & the why of it. It occurred. My mother’s generation & her parents’ certainly had enough to fear. Living through the Blitz with memories of the First World War fresh in mind. But they seemed to cope. So what changed? I’m thinking TV. Specifically TV drama. The average person watching TV can see more death & horror in a week than they saw in a lifetime. And people can become very “involved” with TV drama. Take it very seriously. The things on the screen may not be happening to the viewer but they still feel a lot of the emotions as if they were. But it has one important difference. You can turn it off & it goes away. And that’s what people have become used to. The bad things in life can go away at the flick of a switch. Except Covid doesn’t does it? There’s no off switch.

  6. They will have a lot more to be fearful of once they are wondering how to pay their bills and still eat on £84 a week + inflation. That will blast the virus-freakout away like a hurricane.

  7. BiS – telly, 24 news, social (ha!) media, etc. are probably all significant stressors, but changes in family structure and life expectancy too. People are less exposed to death than ever before, so it’s more terrifying.

    It might also be, tho I dunno, that people who don’t believe in God are more wary of leaving this veil of tears. Tommies marching towards likely death while singing “Abide With Me” just wouldn’t happen in 2020, would it?

    The Papists used to have a (slightly disgusting) tradition of planting a kiss on the dearly departed as he lay rigid in his open coffin, that’s long gone.

    I used to think Raymond Briggs was a sadist, and maybe he was, but he was trying to teach the little ones something important when the Snowman melted. Everyone you ever love will die, children. Merry Christmas!

  8. Steve, BiS – both of you make valid points, but it’s also down to a misunderstanding of risk. People don’t understand how many die on the average day, or the (in)significance of 50 ‘cases’ per 100,000.
    Also, sadly, many many people still believe what they are told by the state and by the media.

  9. The irrational fear is being stoked by the media. Every day there are conferences in the editors’ offices to find “What’s the scariest statistic today that we can lead on?” And the reason is that it makes good clickbait.

    I’m not sure why this doesn’t appear to be the case (at least, not to the same extent) in other European countries. It could be that their traditional media isn’t as threatened by the Internet, protected to a degree by language barriers.

  10. It’s a combination of those things.

    The risk aversion, and inability to measure or make some sense of risk. I mean, I’m an arts graduate (before pol sc w/statistics, and then law), but I can make a decent fist of stats and bell curves. But there is an enormous chunk of people who simply have no grasp of these things. You might as well try explaining algebra in Arapaho to a scouser.

    But then also, people in places like this, Tom’s, talk about the death of the MSM and, yes, it is dying, but far, far more slowly than most of us would like to see. Time after time after time, but never more so than during the abomination of the last five or six months, I’ve been struck by the fact that the conversations and knowledge and insights I see here and in a small number of other places are quite simply unknown to most people I know and encounter (channelling my inner Pauline Kael’s despised ginger-haired sibling).

    So, for all that we fondly talk about the death of the cretin-news, in reality those fearful graphs and those daily death tolls are most people’s takeaways… and they’re reaching out beyond that realm only very, very slowly.

    Mostly, I think, they’re just not all that bothered. Even when they are being scared out of their wits.

  11. Bloke in North Dorset

    I don’t disagree with any of the above but for me the major driver is the chattering classes haven’t had to take any risks and they’re still anchored to the worst case scenario.

    The way I saw the original problem described was that we were all merrily wandering through the woods of life when someone came running along screaming that there’s bears in the wood. Most people panicked and hunkered down, a reasonable response as we didn’t know the size of the problem. That’s also why people found it difficult to focus in the early days of lockdown.

    Gradually people started going back in to the woods, some because they had to eg “key workers” such as supermarket staff, delivery drivers bin men etc. Eventually they realised they could live with these bears in the woods. As lockdown eased more and more people ventured out and were pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t that scary, although they still took precautions.

    The chattering classes haven’t been forced to venture out, they work from home and people bring them stuff and their bank accounts get topped up every month, so to them the woods are still full of as many bears as there were when those first screamed warnings started. They don’t understand how people can be such covidiots, they must be stupid.

    Of course there were still people screaming bears whenever restrictions were lifted but those screams sounded ever more shrill and feeble. The loudest screams were when the government started suggesting people go back to work, but a large proportion of the chattering classes didn’t have to and they were quite comfortable and safe in their own homes. They didn’t need to take risks, they had others to bring them groceries and do everything that protects them from the bears.

    The problem is those chattering classes then influence a lot of people through the MSM and Mrs BiND is a classic case. She hasn’t taken any risks until recently when I started sharing some of the data and pointing out the economic damage. We’re comfortable and don’t need to take risks, so she didn’t and couldn’t understand the problem, until our son was made redundant because of it and now his fiance is under threat of redundancy. She now gets it and earlier this week even went in to a cafe.

    The only way to solve this is to protect the vulnerable, if they want protecting, and get on with life and let it rip. I say protect the vulnerable who want protecting because I know one guy who followed the shielding advice because he has a suppressed immune system and now he’s said bollocks to it, he’s in pubs and restaurants and seeing his grand kids and he isn’t going through that again.

  12. Agree as above. I long ago noticed how many of my generation (i am 66) are uncomfortable with death, cannot really face their own mortality.
    As BiND notes so many have been, so far, insulated from the consequences of the Great Panic, there only contact with the world for months has been through media rather than everyday conversation at work, or shopping. It started to ease a bit in the summer, but now muzzles have brought it back

  13. What is the best way of mitigating COVID-19 in theory? We can split the population into two: we fill one group up with the least susceptible up to the herd immunity threshold, with the remaining more susceptible in the other group. We segregate the two groups, with no interaction between them. We let the virus infect the non-vulnerable group; but strictly shield the vulnerable group, with ample testing and the goal of zero infections. Without any mitigation, overshoot ensures that over time the whole of the non-vulnerable group should become infected, so the virus is eventually eliminated. Once that has happened, both groups can mix freely as the virus should have been eliminated, plus, to ensure that our solution is robust, population herd immunity has been achieved.

    What does this mean in practice? Let the young and healthy live normal lives among themselves. And let them drink beer after 10pm. And given that herd immunity is a public good, one could even argue that the government should pay for it.

  14. So Much For Subtlety

    Chris Miller October 1, 2020 at 3:57 pm – “I’m not sure why this doesn’t appear to be the case (at least, not to the same extent) in other European countries.”

    Other countries do not have Tory governments. The media like Merkel and even Macron. So they can do no wrong. No matter how many they kill. Just like Cuomo in New York.

    They do not like Boris or Trump. So the dial is turned up to 11 and everything they do – even if it is what they were criticised for doing just weeks ago – is a second Dachau.

  15. BiND

    Excellent.

    Martin Sewell

    Well yes,

    but strictly shield

    or (re your final para) just simply let everyone live? It’s a free world? Who the hell are you or I?

  16. I’ve been an atheist since my early teens and have a realistic and pragmatic approach to death, both my own and those around me. I think that when someone dies young it is a tragedy, for us oldies it is just an inevitable part of our existence. For religious types I suppose it is easier now that everybody goes to Heaven and the other place is no longer mentioned.

  17. “MC
    Steve, BiS – both of you make valid points, but it’s also down to a misunderstanding of risk. People don’t understand how many die on the average day…”

    Primarily because the media don’t make this point.

    “32 PEOPLE DIED OF CORONAVIRUS YESTERDAY!!!!!”

    Is a headline that might worry some.

    “32 people died of coronavirus yesterday, they were mostly over 80 and, by the way, around 1,600 people died of other causes yesterday which is about average for the UK and nothing unusual”

    Isn’t an headline you’re going to see.

  18. “Stonyground

    I think that when someone dies young it is a tragedy, for us oldies it is just an inevitable part of our existence.”

    Not me. To paraphrase midget rapper 50 Cent, I’m going to live forever or die trying.

  19. I would note that a lot of people believe the Kung Flu is far more dangerous than it really is. I remember a recent survey showed that a lot of people in the U.S. believe that 30 million have died from it. Even the official number bandied about of 200k is grossly inflated, if you die in a motorcycle crash and your nose swab is positive you’re another Kung Flu casualty.

    The inherent tendency of the news business to promote scary headlines combined with their desire to tank the economy to hurt OMB have led them to extremes I never would have guessed – I thought I was cynical, but I was wrong.

  20. I wonder how much politicians in particular are misled by their reliance on opinion polls and focus groups? How can you conduct these in a lockdown when so many are isolated from everyday contact and are being ‘re-educated’ by media.

  21. Bloke in North Dorset

    To clarify, my comment was about how quickly those with symptoms can go from feeling well to needing life support and was a cautionary tale. I’m not interested in discussing how flu like it is or isn’t.

  22. Mr. Ormerod would have some credibility if he didn’t show a complete lack of understanding of what is happening and why. No sensible person is suggesting that students must be isolated for their own safety. It is perfectly obvious that they are in a low risk category. They are being isolated to protect others. The others being the teaching staff, administrators, cleaners, local shopkeepers, bus drivers, and all the people that they in turn meet daily. Now, it might be a valid argument to say that this was unnecessary, but for someone to successfully argue that point would require them to understand it first, which he clearly doesn’t.

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