They can’t see the wood for the trees
Things are relatively restriction-free here at the moment.
However Archbishop Holohan [he of the High Church of Health] has decreed that we have to go into another lockdown ASAP. So once again my poor coffee shop will have to close and Penny will have to forgo her chicken for some indefinite period.
My big question is why do we have to close everything again?
I have been looking at the figures, and I can understand the reason he is having a panic attack –
You can clearly see the first and second waves. You can also see that in the last few days the indications are that we are heading into a third peak, hence the alarm in the High Church.
However, we all remember the catchphrase that was so popular in the early part of the year – “We have to fight to flatten the curve“. They were worried that hospitals would be overwhelmed and repeatedly showed us images from Italy, China and a few other places showing people in HazMat suits wandering through a maze of tents set up to deal with casualties. There was a certain logic to this edict so people complied and the curve was flattened.
Summer arrived and things were quiet, but then the second wave arrived. That is clear from the graph.
The strange thing though is the lower red line – the number of deaths. There is a distinct rise during the first wave but nothing of note after. The second wave was twice as bad as the first but there was no corresponding large increase in deaths. Why?
There are a few possible reasons for this. You could argue the the vulnerable had all succumbed? Maybe the medicos had become better at treating the symptoms? Maybe they had just increased their testing and were catching far more asymptomatic cases? Or maybe the Virus had just lost its sting and had become no worse that a bad cold?
And so we come to the second graph – the number of hospital admissions –
This is supposed to be the critical information. You can see how there was a huge number at the beginning, reaching a peak of 881. However, the second wave only achieved a mere 354 before declining again. This is hardly an overwhelming of hospital services when they had coped with well over twice that number before?
So they can hardly quote the old “flattening the curve” line again. They have twice the number of reported cases, but less than half the number of hospitalisations? Every indication says that hospitals can cope. So why shut down the country again?
The only answer I can think of is that they are concentrating on numbers and only numbers. They see their precious R number rising or the number of cases per 100,000 going up and they panic. They keep droning that “today we have X cases whereas last week we only had Y cases” or similar portents of doom. Any increase in a number is accompanied by furrowed brows and gloomy predictions.
Maybe they should stop worrying about the numbers on the screens and sit back and think about what these numbers actually mean in the real world? They should look at their figures in context.
Let’s cut the crap and leave my coffee shop alone.
And let Penny enjoy her chicken
It's all they have!
Maybe so but they don't seem to be able to see those numbers in any sort of context. They are just playing around with statistics, working out percentages and trying to make statistical predictions. I can't find any figures that show any form of optimism, What is the recovery rate of hospital patients? What is the Excess Mortality Rate? How many ICU places are available? Probably the most important figure of all – what is the cost to society per death?
What is the relevance of the vast majority of their figures?
The big "if" is whether the numbers are accurate.
Even the inventor/developer of the RT-PCR test said it was intended only for in-hospital analysis of people's symptoms and was unsuitable for screening purposes, especially in the symptom-less. So it's not impossible the rise in positive test results is partially false – test 100,000 people with a test that's only 99.9% accurate and you'll find 100 people whose results are positive. (And since the false positive amount may be up to 0.5%, that's now 500 false results in 100,000.)
One other reason is the reluctance of these mini-Hitlers to relinquish their power over a mainly-placid populace. Having seen how easy it's been to herd vast numbers of otherwise healthy and active people into submissive drones, 'they' want to hold on to their control. Bastards one and all!
False positives up to 0.5%?
And the rest…
I think the key is definitely the excess death figures. Those in the UK mirror yours, and they show few excess deaths other than during the first wave. Something is distinctly fishy- I tend to the idea that the politicos are actually terror-stricken at the thought they might be held responsible for (so to speak) killing off us oldies.
But as you so rightly point out, it’s (by pandemic standards) a VERY weedy virus, whose main victims are, by-and-large, the (very sadly) very ill and likely to die.
And for that, we have trashed our economy, lost countless jobs, deferred operations and cancer treatments, and in likelihood done more damage than the virus.
And that is true of most of the West. It’s as if the Chinese had known what they were doing all along…..
The UK Government are taking advice from clowns who in the past predicted ……………………
150,000 people could die of Foot and Mouth (the final toll was around 200)
Up to 50,000 people in the UK could die of human variant CJD after exposure to BSE (in reality, 177)
Up to 150 million deaths from bird flu. Reality: 282
Up to 65,000 from swine flu. Reality: 457.