Straw Poll: Opinions continue to shift

In August I took a straw poll to measure opinions on how the UK Government has dealt with the covid-19 crisis. Respondents were asked via twitter to rate their own opinions from A to E as well as the opinions of family, friends, neighbours and workmates.

This month's poll is …

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Straw Poll: Opinions seem to be shifting

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Early in of July I took an informal poll of opinion on Covid - how supportive or critical are people of their governments. A month later I have repeated the exercise, a total of 342 people responded (last month 202).

Respondents to the survey, who were sourced by a request through …

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Write a letter to your MP now!

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Does democracy work?

Make sure you give it a shot. Twitter user OO51HAR has provided a great template. Edit it and make it your own and send it to your Member of Parliament or other political representative. Do it now!

For the UK, enter your post code into this this …

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Covid-19 policy and Scientific Rot

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Many of us are wondering, "how the heck did we get here?"

Our response to a virus that is similar in lethality to previous flu epidemics resembles an attempted economic suicide. From UK politicians we hear a droning mantra of "follow the science" but to anyone paying attention, their science …

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Swedish Covid-19 mortality in perspective

In Sweden, over 70s comprise around 90% of Covid-19 deaths, with the majority having two or more comorbidities.

The age group seeing the most Covid fatalities is 80-89 years (41%), followed by the 90+ years category (26%). Note that average life expectancy at birth in Sweden is 81 for men …

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Sky Australia Interview with Johan Giesecke on Sweden's evidence based approach to Covid

Interview with former chief Swedish epidemiologist Professor Johan Giesecke, who reveals that he is 'watching with interest' how Australia and other countries come out of lockdown. Giesecke questions the effectiveness of the draconian measures taken and the wisdom of the UK government for basing its policy on Imperial College's flawed, non-peer-reviewed paper, championing instead Sweden's 'evidence-based' approach, which relies on social distancing and good old-fashioned handwashing.

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Letter to MP

Don't just talk about it - take some action!

Here is a letter in word format that you can download and and use as basis for a letter to your MP or other political representative:

The …

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Why is England a special case?

slug:england_special_28Apr

Across Europe, Covid only kills the under 60's in very small numbers. For example in Italy which has had a relatively high number of deaths overall, less than 3% were under 60 years old. In England and Wales the corresponding percentage is around 7%. This difference shows up …

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Predictive models of epidemics are too often wildly wrong

The COVID-19 Response Team led by Professor Neil Ferguson, has been a major influence on UK Government COVID-19 policies.

Imperial College model predictions have influenced UK government COVID-19 policies without sufficient challenge and peer review. This is surprising given past forecasting failures and the enormous costs of the policies in …

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Analysis from Cardiff, Nottingham and Oxford Universities finds "very little gain" in continuing total lockdown

An academic paper from 2020-04-15 models various scenarios to investigate time-dependent strategies of handling the epidemic taking into account the needs of the elderly and those with special medical conditions. Main findings include:

Very little gain, in terms of the projected hospital bed occupancy and expected numbers of death,of …

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BBC: Informing or scaring?

Here is a comparison of news headlines from the past week in 2020 and the headlines from a time in 2018 when mortality rates were peaking due to a bad flu season.

Make up your own mind. Do the headlines reflect the gravity of the situations in an equivalent way …

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Swedish Government fears that impact from the lockdown may prove more lethal than the virus.

Lockdown is likely to have major economic implications that in the future may harm healthcare due to lack of resources. This may eventually cause even more deaths and suffering than the COVID-19 pandemic will bring in the near term

  • Sweden has adopted a relatively relaxed strategy, seemingly assuming that overreaction …

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Oxfam: For three billion people the pandemic will be a killer - "this virus will starve us before it makes us sick"

The coronavirus pandemic could push an additional half a billion people into poverty, aid charity Oxfam has warned,

"For nearly three billion people living in poverty and without enough clean water, jobs and access to basic healthcare - and for millions already facing years of malnutrition, disease and conflict - the coronavirus …

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Instiute of Fiscal Studies: Due to lockdown, Hundreds of thousands will suffer chronic health problems for years to come

Hardest hit by the lockdown will be the cancer sufferers, the elderly, those with poor mental health, young children and those currently in utero.

Economic downturn and wider NHS disruption likely to hit health hard – especially health of most vulnerable

Worsening economic conditions and disruptions to NHS services will have …

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Vital work done by charities is threatened by the lock-down, say Macmillan Cancer Support, and Barnardo's

Government support is inadequate to protect work of key charities.

Macmillan Cancer Support chief executive Lynda Thomas said the [government] support did not go far enough.

"We are deeply concerned this commitment fails to recognise the scale of the challenge," she said.

"It won't prevent many of the nation's charities …

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Italian experience indicates how emotional over-reaction to COVID-19 can be deadly.

Events in Italy, where emotionally driven over-reactions to events have caused more additional deaths, may reflect a bigger global pattern, where reason has lost to hysteria.

Good article drawing upon Italian experience and explaining, among other things, how emotional overreaction to circumstances can be deadly.

"The decision to transfer patients …

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Epidemiologist in the BMJ: If the new data from China is Correct ‘What the h** are we locking down for?’

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Tom Jefferson, an epidemiologist and honorary research fellow at the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford, said the findings were “very, very important.” He told The BMJ,

“The sample is small, and more data will become available. Also, it’s not clear exactly how these cases were …

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Is the PCR test used for COVID-19 sound?

Corona: creating the illusion of a pandemic through diagnostic tests

The widespread test for the COVID-19 virus is called the PCR

Jon Rappoport argues with a well sourced article that, according to the WHO's own technical information a lot, to say the least, is unsatisfactory about the PCR. If true …

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