Who brought Covid-19 to the Edinburgh Nike event? Nike HQs announce deep cleaning before Scottish Government informed

Image SNS Group

By Brenda Steele:

What the purpose of the event was remains unknown. A new product line? The upcoming Olympics (since postponed)?  Who knows.

I would suspect that for the participants the event passed off as these things do – and it was only in the following days that they learned that all had not been as it seemed. 

On Sunday March 1st   an announcement in Business Insider reported on the closure of the Nike World Headquarters  in Beaverton Oregon for deep cleaning out of “an abundance of caution”.   Mention was made of Covid19 cases in Lake Oswego Oregon which Googlemaps will tell you is just 10 minutes and 7.4 miles from Beaverton

The next day March 2nd  money.usnews.com  reported   “Nike Temporarily Closes European HQ in the Netherlands Due to Coronavirus Case” .   That report does mention the World HQ closure.

On March 3rd the Evening Standard reported that “About 150 employees of the US sportswear giant were told to stay at home after a colleague returned from an overseas trip to one of the worst-hit areas, the Standard understands.” Well the Standard may understand it. I’m confused.

On March  4th chroniclelive.co.uk reported that Nike had closed down its office in Sunderland due to a coronavirus alert, and People in hazmat suits were seen entering the sportswear company’s offices in Camberwell Way on Wednesday.

On March 4th the Swindon advertiser reported that “the Nike store at Swindon Designer Outlet closed for deep clean (but it denies it’s because of coronavirus)”

On March 5th GlasgowLive.co.uk reported on “Mystery closure of Glasgow’s Nike store as Buchanan Street shop shut 24 hours for ‘cleaning’. Glaswegians have been questioning the surprise closure of the city centre store on social media.”

Not a single one of these articles mentioned  the Nike Conference in Edinburgh.  The references to the cause is vague.   No-one connects the dots. The press makes almost no complaint to Nike at this juncture about the lack of information.  

At this point Nike’s multiple problems fade from the headlines until ……  Roll forward more than  2 months to May 11  and the BBC Program Disclosure headlined on the BBC website under the headline  “Coronavirus: Earlier Scottish lockdown ‘could have prevented 2,000 deaths”.  I have not seen this program as I don’t pay the TV tax but I presume the website article is an accurate account. The program rolls out a parcel of experts who opine about how many lives could have been saved if Scotland had locked down sooner.  This is followed by cynical  exploitation – for what else can you call it – of the pain of some of the people who have lost loved ones. And after that there is an expose of the key role that the Conference supposedly played in the spread of Covid19 in Scotland.  If only we had locked down earlier!  What the program doesn’t seem to make clear is that the Scottish Government had very limited ability to invoke a lockdown, for most importantly ScotGov has no borrowing powers to support the Scottish economy.  We are dependant on the largesse of Westminster. They haven’t exactly been overjoyed at the modest deviations made by the devolved governments and they are reneging on the promised funds.

It didn’t take long for the MSM to get to work.  The media seems utterly enraged that they were not told. Why? What did they plan to do with the information?  Did they plan to go and camp on the doorstep of the Nike colleagues sitting at home worrying if they had caught Covid19.   They were certainly very busy finding anyone with any connection to the event or Nike locations, Lloyds bank employees, tour guides, digital companies. They don’t seem to have much traction with them, although they were not traced. But the kilt fitter – oh joy. Pity that she only met ten of the colleagues and that wasn’t at the hotel.

Of course if you are the press you can use your imagination.   On 17th May EdinburghLive.co.uk titled a report “Livingston outlet not warned when Nike closed for ‘deep clean’ after conference”  coronavirus outbreak” Apparently delegates (Oh dear) ” flocked from round the world to the event” The article continues with the statements that days later – on 2nd  March – Scotland’s  first confirmed case of coronavirus was publicly announced, which was followed by the death of an NHS Lothian patient under two weeks later.  The problem is that the first confirmed case – from Tayside -had recently returned from  Italy not Edinburgh. Why then was this included? If you read https://www.travellingtabby.com/scotland-coronavirus-tracker/ you will know that Dundee/Tayside  has been the area most active in testing from the get-go right up to the present time – what has that to do with the Nike Conference?

Relentless questioning of what the Scottish Government knew has established that on March 2nd , Health Protection Scotland was alerted by international authorities about one person, not from the UK, who tested positive after attending the conference, and  on March 3rd when one person in Scotland connected to the event tested positive for Covid19  ministers were informed that very evening.  Looks like Health Scotland really moved fast once that alert arrived. I do wonder if they would have had much cooperation from the colleagues if the Nike Conference had been filling the headlines.

But just a moment if we go back and look at the  announcements from Nike for the sequence makes me very curious. Somehow it doesn’t stack up.

The international alert arrived on 2nd March – but  Nike World HQ announced their deep-clean the day before and their Europe HQ announced it that very same day!  Look at that sequence.  How does that come about?  How did they organize the deep clean it so quickly? Which of them originated the international alert?  Or was it one of the other (unknown) locations all over the world from which Nike “delegates  flocked” to the Edinburgh conference.    Those two deep-cleans were followed by the London Corporate offices and then Sunderland.  All Corporate offices with large numbers of staff.  Nike Retail outlets only come at the end. 

So who actually brought the Covid ID to the conference?  There is no obvious choice.  Covid19 was present at the first three corporate locations. 

Oregon does have some statistics available for infections. See https://public.tableau.com/profile/oregon.health.authority.covid.19#!/vizhome/OregonHealthAuthorityCOVID-19DataDashboard/COVID-19EPICases. Sorry, I don’t have any information for the Netherlands. I don’t speak Dutch.  London information? Good luck with that.

If you can figure it out from what was reported in the press, do tell me, I haven’t – yet. I’m still digging.

A table listing by date all the sources for the items I have mentioned here and others besides is available. Email: talkingupreminders@gmail.com for a copy

6 thoughts on “Who brought Covid-19 to the Edinburgh Nike event? Nike HQs announce deep cleaning before Scottish Government informed

  1. Bravo… The earlier date of the 1st might be explained by Oregon being 10 hours behind plus any delays for authorities in identifying locations to
    which the alarm would be notified.
    The Murray/Smith cat would have embarrassed Schrodinger…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Article was on BusinessInsider based in NYC – at around 5.45pm Eastern time, 3 hours ahead of Portland which is on Pacific time.
      ActualNike announcement was made on local radio KGW earlier in the day. Article contains local situation with local and state Coronavirus situation. Writer also said Nike had not responded to request for comment.
      My best guess is that it was a noon 1pm or 2pm news slot.


  2. Simple boycott Nike products
    The only language profit driven large multi national understand is
    Tis their master and they its slave


  3. UK government’s plan for dealing with covid 19 was to treat it as flu. The 2011 Flu Pandemic Strategy includes “trigger points” that influence consideration of actions that may be taken. The first phases were those of “detection” and “assessment”. Once there was evidence of sustained community transmission of the virus these phases would end. It was never intended in the planning that test, track, trace and isolate would continue beyond an initial phase. The success of countries, South Korea and others in dealing with the virus was overlooked or ignored.

    Since there was no intention for sustained testing there were insufficient supplies and no attempt to develop them for some weeks later. Devi Sridhar tweeted: “I’m reading through the released SAGE minutes from Feb/March & oh wow- some of the conclusions they reached were way off. 8th SAGE meeting: ‘When there is sustained transmission in the UK, contact tracing will no longer be useful.'”

    At the 7th meeting SAGE had concluded:” SAGE should continue to work on the assumption that China will be unable to contain the epidemic.”SAGE concluded that neither travel restrictions within the UK nor prevention of mass gatherings would be effective in limiting transmission.

    The 2011 flu pandemic plan said, “it will not be possible to halt the spread of a new pandemic influenza virus, and it would be a waste of public health resources and capacity to attempt to do so”. The plan explains why Boris Johnson tried to see what public reaction would be to “taking it on the chin”.

    It was only when modelling by Ferguson concluded that “taking it on the chin” would lead to 500,000 deaths that this was quickly abandoned and the lock-down thought about. But not too soon. Devi Sridhar again:”15th SAGE meeting- March 13: ‘SAGE was unanimous that measures seeking to completely suppress spread of COVID-19 will cause a second peak.’ ‘Community testing is ending today.’ ‘The science suggests household isolation…of the elderly and vulnerable should be implemented soon.'”

    John Edmunds, professor of infectious disease modelling & SAGE member was on television saying that intervening ‘too hard, too early’ would be a mistake because the only way to stop is herd immunity or catching every single case.

    Devi Sridhar had this to say about the role of the devolved governments. “Also worth noting how devolved nations (Scotland, Wales, N. Ireland) were not integrated into SAGE in Feb/March so had no real insights into decisions –> Scotland only set up its advisory group on 30th March. Publishes full membership & minutes just days after meetings.”

    Exclusion by the UK government from decision making is common in devolution. Aileen McHarg, professor of public law and human rights at Durham University, a specialist in devolution, suggests the issue may have been one common to inter-governmental work within the UK.
    “One of the unsatisfactory features of devolution is how informal the systems for inter-governmental working have been, right from the beginning, and how dominated they have been by the UK Government,” she said.

    “The UK Government gets to really dictate the extent to which it will share information and share decision-making with the devolved governments, and if it doesn’t want to, they can’t force it to.

    “That doesn’t mean it can dictate how the powers are to be exercised.

    “But I guess if you’re not in the room when things are being discussed, or you’re not being able to influence those decisions, you might find yourself in the position of not actually having much choice about how you exercise those powers.”

    The modelling work by Neil Ferguson was deeply flawed. The weaknesses have been examined. Covid19 is much like BSE. Flawed science and an unquestioning UK government. We are still deep in the woods.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I copy and paste here some of the criticisms made of the Ferguson modelling team’s work.

    “However, they make structural mistakes in analyzing outbreak response. They ignore standard Contact Tracing [2] allowing isolation of infected prior to symptoms. They also ignore door-to-door monitoring to identify cases with symptoms [3]. Their conclusions that there will be resurgent outbreaks are wrong. After a few weeks of lockdown almost all infectious people are identified and their contacts are isolated prior to symptoms and cannot infect others [4]. The outbreak can be stopped completely with no resurgence as in China, where new cases were down to one yesterday, after excluding imported international travelers that are quarantined….

    ….They also don’t specify whether achieving less than one case (extinction of the virus) is possible in their model. The actual minimal number for resurgence is larger than 1 because (1) a significant percentage of those in close contact with confirmed cases are not infected, indeed only 5% of close contacts of infected individuals traced in China subsequently tested positive [2], and (2) small outbreaks can be stopped by contact tracing, which is enhanced by the availability of testing [5]. The availability of testing is also not included in their analysis. These interventions imply the exponential growth they report after relaxing restrictions would require a significant number of initial cases.

    Since lockdowns result in exponentially decreasing numbers of cases, a comparatively short amount of time can be sufficient to achieve pathogen extinction, after which relaxing restrictions can be done without resurgence. Since the exponential decay is highly sensitive to the interventions made by both government and social action, simulating their effects is less helpful than the advice to “go all out” and refine the effort over time with improved tracing, testing, and other protocols.

    Finally, the use of geographic boundaries and travel restrictions allows for effective and comparatively low cost imposition and relaxation of interventions. Such a multiscale approach accelerates response efforts, reduces social impacts, allows for relaxing restrictions in areas earlier that are less affected, enables unifected areas to assist in response in the ares that are infected, and is a much more practical and effective way to stop otherwise devastating outbreaks [6]. If actions had been taken earlier, successful local lockdowns, as performed in China in Hubei province, would have been possible instead of national lockdowns.

    A few other issues are of importance: They ignore the possibility of superspreader events in gatherings by not including the fat tail distribution of contagion in their model. They don’t provide details in this paper, but prior works use Gamma distributions that are exponentially decaying and don’t represent fat tails, i.e. subexponential class. This leads them to deny the importance of banning them, which has been shown to be incorrect, including in South Korea ”


    Liked by 1 person

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