There is nothing wrong with whistling in the wind, but…

From Alasdair Galloway:

Some thoughts on some consequences of Covid

An article on the BBC website just caught my eye – “Covid Cases: This summer compared with last”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-58281664.

It reports that comparing 20 August with this time last year, there were 37,314 this year, compared with 1,182 a year ago. Or put another way, there were more than 31 times the number of cases this year than last year.

The author of the piece seems remarkably untroubled by this. They write “The numbers admitted to hospital or dying are also both higher than last year. However, this still reflects how far we’ve come with vaccination – if there had been 37,000 cases a day last summer it would have had a severe impact on the NHS. Instead jabs are saving lives.” Probably true enough, and its also true to point out that this year restrictions have been done away with almost entirely.

However, it is still the 20th August when much of our interaction is able to be conducted out of doors (as we are encouraged to do by that patronizing woman in the Scottish Government ad). What will happen when the weather turns and the “dark nights are drawing in”?

Lets take a couple of examples. The peak of the wave prior to Christmas (about end October, early November) was about 25,000 which is 21 times the number on 20th August last year. On that basis we might expect 783,594 cases.

Even worse the post-Christmas/ New Year peak last year was about 60,000, which is 50 times the number of cases on 20th August last year. On that basis, we might expect 1,865.700 cases by just after Christmas.  The reason for the increase last year was the change of weather and more social interaction indoors.

According to the BBC, while people are still getting ill and some are dying, “What really matters now is the number of people becoming so ill that they need hospital treatment.”

Would 1,865,700 cases, even with the lower rate of hospitalisation create a problem that the NHS couldn’t cope with? I don’t know. However, it is a little ironic that in the next paragraph they quote Professor Paul Hunter of the University of East Anglia that “It wouldn’t matter a jot if Covid caused a million cases a month if it didn’t make anybody sick. It’s the actual illnesses which have to drive what we do next”. Isn’t that the truth!

We know that Covid, while some carry the virus with no symptoms and others – especially if vaccinated – experience fairly mild symptoms (though easy to say if you’re not ill). However, we also know that even with the vaccines that some people become very ill indeed and some still die. Most importantly we aren’t talking about less than 40,000 cases per day, but perhaps three quarters of a million or almost two million a day. And then there is “Long Covid” ….

But one thing this article quite simply ignores is that with that sort of number of people falling ill on a daily basis, what will the effect on society generally be? I’m old enough to remember the 1968 flu pandemic, and my main memory is going into a class at school and thinking “where is everyone”, or getting taught History by the Metalwork teacher, or Maths by the French teacher. It was chaos for a while.

Already there are distribution problems and stories (perhaps exaggerated?) about empty supermarket shelves, a problem which no doubt has been exacerbated considerably by Brexit. But how are things going to be if there are fifty times the number of people ill with Covid (even if not in hospital) today? Moreover, some of these are going to be in the NHS which takes the issue back into “will the hospitals be able to cope?” territory.

I am not actually suggesting that this will necessarily come about – the numbers are very crude. However, one thing does seem likely, and that is as winter sets in and there is more social interaction indoors that there will be more cases.

Johnson has said he does not rule out more lockdowns, but the attitudes in much of the Conservative Party would be against this. How many would have to be ill, how disrupted would our society have to be to force his hand to bring back restrictions? Could he survive this politically in his own Party?

Unless there is a lockdown in England, there can be none in Scotland because only if there is a lockdown in England will furlough return. Nicola Sturgeon could not call another lockdown without the sort of financial measures that only Sunak has the power to put in place.

There is nothing wrong with whistling in the wind, but how long will this go on for?

8 thoughts on “There is nothing wrong with whistling in the wind, but…

  1. Curiously said article has been rapidly demoted on the page behind older articles.

    It’s fairly obvious the intent was to support the HMG line of “Vaccination is our salvation, now back to work, it will all be fine” in England.
    With the onset of winter we should fully expect all the precautionary aspects to return as will lockdowns, to much gnashing of teeth and harrumphing. I doubt however whether “furlough” will be a problem for SG, as we typically see England’s effects around 2-3 weeks earlier, so something will be in place.

    On a more conspiratorial note, I’d lay odds a resurgence will coincide with the end of the UK’s growing season – When better to have a “public health emergency” mask escalating shortages ?

    I’m constantly appalled at London’s approach to this, we could ALL have been in a much better place had political dogma not supplanted “the science”.
    The turkeys who voted for christmas will not be on tables this year, there is nobody to process them, or the sprouts…

    Liked by 4 people

  2. The night clubs were opened without restriction. The restrictions are to come in September. 2 Vaccinations before entry. Now all the young folk have gone over board spreading Covid. Infecting each other and all their families etc too. People consuming and taking cocaine and ketamine. Affecting health and mental health.

    They think they will get away with it, with no restriction. It will catch up with them. Making people seriously ill. The restrictions should have been implemented or staggered opening times. Instead of binging and spreading the virus like wild fire.

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    1. Hmm, I spoke to a young lad in our local Scotmid yesterday and he said he enjoyed going to a night club again, and wearing a mask wasn’t a problem, which he’d thought it might be. It’s not quite a devil may care, caution to the wind, everything will be hunky dory in Scotland, as it is in England.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. There are huge numbers of humanity who have no real chance of vaccination, and where the virus has free rein to mutate . There are now millions who have BEEN jagged against the Covid varieties we know.
    There is now a race between mutation (variations) and health science to see who can gain a “lead”.
    It may be a that a dominant variation, which is then innocuous in its effects on humans, comes to pass.
    Or there may be a mutation which defeats our efforts at protection for the bulk of humans.
    Dangerously, we are governed by a regime which cares mainly about “capitalism” coming out the other end.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Scotland is at the mercy of the EngGov, and during a pandemic it’s terrifying, given the EngGov are disaster capitalists, who care nothing for anyone other than themselves and their own and their pals’ bank accounts. The only countries having decisions made for them, even if it means people die, and colonised ones. Scotland is an occupied territory, only independence can end that low status, second, or even third class situation. Being under the jack boots of the Eng ruling elite is counter to Scotland forging a 21st century future, devoid of massive inequality and emptying of privilege for the already rich.

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    1. You are spot on there – if England refuses to lock down there would be no chance of furlough. What is Sturgeon supposed to do? Impose her own lockdown and tell those whose work has been stopped to “eat cake”?
      As a wee codicil to the above, I did the same exercise with the specifically Scottish figures. This was to
      1. take the figure for the same day last year
      2. establish the rate of increase to the high point last Christmas/ New Year
      3. apply that rate to today’s figures.
      On that basis by next Christmas/ New Year – if this year repeats last year – there would be 62,000 cases per day.
      There are a lot of caveats to this. First would Westminster – and remember their figs are even worse – not put the brakes on well before we got to that sort of point? Of course, as has been noted here, the interests of the economy loom very large at Westminster. But with the sort of numbers who could be ill by then – not necessarily in hospital, but not at work either – how much of the economy would still be working? You can only blame Brexit so often. Even Johnson! I read somewhere that Turkey may well be off the menu at Christmas.
      Secondly, the methodology is pretty simple minded – to say the least. On the one hand is this year comparable to last because now more than 75% of people aged over 18 have had both vaccinations (or “double jabbed” (c) BBC), so we might not expect it to be as bad as last year. But …
      Thirdly, this year, unless things change, there will be no (or at best few) restrictions, which is likely to make things worse (particularly if the Delta variant remains the dominant one).
      So the moot is which comes out on top – the former or the latter.

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  5. Of course Covid is a gift to the EngGov whose agenda is to bring the NHS (in England, then Scotland) to it’s knees, under funded, under staffed, at breaking point, then, bring in the privateers, job done, that’s what they mean by ‘day job’.

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