Covid-19: how did we get into this mess, how can we get out?


The following is my personal assessment of how we got to where we are with Covid-19.

At the end of this article there are links to my suggestions on how we can escape from this “dystopian present”.

(If there is anything below that you believe is incorrect, that I’m ‘barking up completely the wrong tree’, or if you would just like to input some new thoughts and ideas, I would love to hear from you:

– “petedurnell@hotmail.com”).

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We know with reasonable confidence that the Corona virus Covid-19 originated in Wuhan, Hubei province, China.   China is still trying to throw doubt on this.   Realistically there is none.

Wuhan just happens to be the location for some of the most advanced virology laboratories in the world, they make up ‘the Wuhan Institute for Virology’.

These laboratories also just happen to have recently hosted two of the best virologists in the world, they have been working there throughout 2019.

The laboratories also just happen to specialise in studying corona viruses, and by pure chance, the virus which is now bringing almost every nation in the world to a complete standstill, as it forges a trail of death and destruction,

– just happens to be the exact same type of corona virus which for some time has been the main subject of research in these laboratories.

There are currently three main theories as to the origins of Covid-19, although the Chinese authorities regularly come up with alternative ones, they all help to ‘blow smoke’, ‘muddy the waters’… to deflect from the clear and obvious most likely origin.

‘Theory A’) “A dog ate some bat infected bat meat’.

I’m not going to comment any further on this here, it’s so ridiculous. But feel free to Google and read the many articles which appeared in our complicit Press, attempting somehow to lend it some credence.  Ridiculous.  Enough said.

‘Theory B’) A corona virus somehow ‘jumped’ from bats, to another species, possibly via a pangolin (yes really), and then on to a human.

‘By pure chance’ this happened in one of the extremely cruel and extremely unpleasant so-called ‘wet markets’ which can be found all over China,

– where wild animals are caged, kept in unnatural very close proximity, and eaten either raw, or in some cases still alive,

– and ‘by pure chance’, this ‘species jumping’ happened in a wet market located in close proximity to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, just a few minutes walk away.

(More of this below, I apologise for probably overusing the phrases ‘by pure chance’ and “just happens” when discussing theories that it Covid-19 didn’t originate from one of Wuhan’s laboratories, it’s very hard not to do so)

By pure chance, whilst jumping from species to species, the DNA of the virus happened to get altered in a particular way, a way which made it extremely transmissable from human to human.

One of the problems, apart from it being so statistically unlikely that this happened in a market almost within sight of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, is that the market which is being blamed for the outbreak by the Chinese authorities,

– is a seafood market, and, according to locals, has never sold bats.

Another problem is that in the early stages of trying to cover up the human to human spread of Covid-19,

– Chinese authorities ordered a ‘deep clean’ of the market, meaning that all potential evidence, which may have supported or disproved this theory, has long since been destroyed.

The main issue with this theory however is ‘what are the odds?’.  More of this below….

Finally,

‘Theory C’ : Covid-19 came from one of the laboratories in the Wuhan Institute, and either escaped from there by accident, or was released deliberately.

If I had to bet, I know where my money would be.

The Covid-19 virus escaped as a result of poor procedures, by accident, from one of the laboratories which are operated by scientists belong to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

We may never know exactly how Covid-19 was created in the lab, whether it had its DNA accidentally or deliberately altered to allow it to transmit easily between humans, or exactly how it “escaped”,

– but there have suggestions from people living locally that after having been used in laboratory testing, animals were often subsequently sold in the local market.

Earning the lab assistants a few extra yuan…. this would fit in very well with what we do know.

(This would also explain why Chinese authorities/scientists were able to supply the entire genome of a brand new virus to the world so quickly…. they knew exactly what it was, because they created it.

If it had been created ‘naturally’, in a local wet market, it would have taken them a long time to analyse the genetic code to this level of detail

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8249875/Wuhan-laboratory-scientists-did-absolutely-crazy-things-alter-coronavirus.html)

However there are many other ways in which Covid-19 could have escaped accidentally, as a result of poor operational procedures in the institute.

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So what exactly do we know?

We know the first Covid-19 infections in humans took place in the vicinity of the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

We know that the genome of Covid-19, ‘its DNA code’, almost exactly matches one previously found only in a particular species of horseshoe bats, but with some subtle changes having occurred, changes which make it very easily transmitted between humans.

We know these horseshoe bats only live in one location, a series of caves more than 1000 miles from the Wuhan institute.

We know that horseshoe bats were being collected from this site by the Chinese military, and taken to the laboratories inside the Wuhan institute. (There is film evidence of this).

We know that the Wuhan Institute for Virology has been playing about with corona viruses found in these bats for many years, and that some of the research taking place there may have been financed by the US.

We know that in Covid-19, the virus structure has subtly changed in order to enable it to attach itself a lot more easily to ACE2 receptors,

– these receptors are found in human upper and lower respiratory tracts. Without this change it could never manage to transmit to, and take hold in humans, particularly in human lungs.

We know that laboratories in the Wuhan Institute for Virology stored corona viruses in poor/unsafe conditions.

We know that the Washington Post reported US diplomats in Beijing had written cables about the Wuhan laboratory in 2018, warning the state Department that ‘the lab’s work on bat corona viruses and their potential human transmission represented a risk of a new SARs-like pandemic’.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8233185/Shock-photos-inside-Wuhan-lab-stores-1-500-virus-strains.html

We know US intelligence sources are saying that shortly after the corona virus outbreak began, officials at the lab destroyed samples of the virus, erased early reports and suppressed academic papers

– and then tried to pin the blame for ‘the creation’ of Covid-19…. on Wuhan’s wet market, where wild animals are sold for consumption.

(Funnily enough, this is the exact same thing that the authorities did when the SARS virus twice escaped from a Chinese laboratory, back in 2003, they got away with it then, so no surprise they are trying this same ploy again now).

The US sources believe that ‘Patient Zero’ was an intern at the lab, who spread the virus into the local population after infecting her boyfriend.

One source described it as ‘the costliest government cover-up of all time’.

After initially accepting the wet market theory, intelligence officials in the US, Britain and Canada are increasingly focusing on the Wuhan institute,

– not least because of the level of coincidence required for the bats in Yunnan to have infected animals in Wuhan, which then passed it on to humans.

“No sh*t”.

The US investigation will of course face ‘a wall of secrecy’, as already erected by Chinese authorities, a lot of data has mysteriously ‘gone missing’,

– along with some of the scientists who were originally involved in trying to highlight that a very nasty virus, extremely easily passed from human to human, was in the process of spreading rapidly out from the very location which contained the Wuhan Institute for Virology.

The Chinese authorities would have us believe that, by pure chance, a new corona virus, by some ‘fluke of nature’, managed to ‘come into being’, in a market not much more than a stone’s throw from the Wuhan Institute for Virology, and then started spreading amongst the local population.

Their theories are that either “a dog ate some bat meat”, or that some other sort of multiple jump across different species happened, possibly involving a pangolin, and that by pure chance, one of these two took place in a wet market, in the vicinity of the Wuhan Institute for Virology.

We are supposed to believe one of these two explains how Covid-19 first appeared in humans, despite the fact that there is a lot of evidence that no bats were ever sold in the Wuhan wet market, or even live in the local area,

– and that the particularly species of bat which normally hosts an almost identical corona virus, can only be found in a series of caves, 1000 miles away.

We also know that Chinese authorities have subsequently allowed these horrific ‘wet markets’ to reopen.  If you really though that a virus which is wreaking havoc across the world…  orginated from one of these, would you really allow them to reopen again, ever ?!

I think not.

On the other hand, if you had twice used these markets to cover up for a deadly virus escaping from a laboratory, SARS, and now Covid-19,

– then you would get them open again as fast as possible… who knows when your next virus might escape?

You can’t blame the appearance of a devastating new virus on conditions in a local wet market if they are all shut down.

Anyway, Covid-19 being created in a local market’ is ‘one Hec of a sequence of unlikely events’, which all need to be combined together to make a massively more unlikely one.

I am not a virologist, but I do know a little bit about statistics and probabilities.

I believe that the probability of one of the Chinese government’s explanations for the creation of Covid-19 occurring, in a market within a mile or two of their ‘world leading virology laboratories’, given all of the above…

– is without question so tiny as to be not even worth considering.

It’s difficult to calculate the individual odds of all these required circumstances happening precisely, and you then need to multiply their odds together to get the end result,

– but if you were able to do this, I suspect you would like find that the odds of winning the UK lottery are probably not much different.

I firmly believe Covid-19 escaped from a laboratory… and so do the makers of this documentary on ‘the origin of the Wuhan Coronavirus’ :

Whether Covid-19 is the result of genetic engineering, and/or very lax procedures, it somehow escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology laboratory and into the local human population.

Our media, and our government, seem prepared to swallow the ‘it happened one day in a market, with a bat and a pangolin, by pure chance in very close proximity to China’s most advanced virus laboratories’ story, or ‘a dog ate infected bat meat nearby’,

– one can only imagine, for financial reasons.

China represents a huge market place for our businesses. It certainly can’t be because the bat-pangolin-human, ‘just down the road from the institute’ theory makes much sense, or seems at all likely. Clearly it doesn’t, and it is by any reasonable estimation, extremely unlikely.

We may never know whether the virus was released deliberately, my guess would be that it was almost certainly released accidentally.

Viruses have been known to escape by accident from laboratories in the past. It is a matter of record that the SARS virus escaped from a laboratory in China twice, back in 2003… and that Chinese authorities initially blamed a local wet market.

It would be an enormous risk to take to allow a virus like this to spread out into the world deliberately. The results would be impossible to predict, you would have to be pretty much certifiably insane ‘to go willingly down such a road.’

I don’t believe the Chinese authorities are this bat-shit crazy.

Duplicitous, deceitful, yes, bordering on clinically insane, no.

Covid-19 is very different to SARS or MERS because it transmits extremely easily between humans, and, once it establishes itself in the lungs, it can have extremely nasty consequences for the large number of the people who are now being exposed to it across the world. In many cases deadly ones.

We know that China spent some time, around six weeks, trying to cover up the initial spread of the virus, and that this cover up cost a huge number of lives across the world,

– by allowing Covid-19 to reach a large number of countries before being detected, and by not allowing governments to be able to make proper assessments as to how much damage it could do.

This delay denied the countries it reached precious extra time to make better preparations to deal with it.

We can also be fairly certain that the statistics which have come out of China, and on which many of the policies which governments adopted around the world were based, were nonsense.

The number of deaths was recently updated by Chinese authorities by around 50%. Almost certainly still way short of the real total.

Chinese authorities initially massively downplayed the number of people who have died as a result of Covid-19 in China, probably the ease of transmission of the virus, and very likely many other aspects besides.

It is difficult to dispute that we should have ‘gone into lock down’ in the UK at least two weeks earlier than we actually did, and that this, in the short term at least, would have saved a large number of lives.

However we should perhaps bear in mind that “the judgement calls” that our scientists were making, the models that they were building, and then using, and which produced the results upon which they subsequently advised the UK government,

– were based on the false information that China was providing to the world at the time.

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Winners and losers

Whether it was released deliberately or by accident, there is very little doubt that China is going to be ‘the big winner’, over the next year, probably many more years to come.

Why? Simply because it is a totalitarian state.

This is a massive advantage when attempting to deal with a virus outbreak of this kind.

Chinese authorities have ‘tabs’ on absolutely all of their citizens, they know literally everything about them, and they can, and do, monitor every citizen’s precise movements, at all times.

This is the reason why China was able to bring the virus outbreak under control, to the point of almost eliminating it in the general population, in just a few short months,

– and its industries quickly ‘kicked back into full gear’.

If they get any further outbreaks, they will shut down everything immediately, forcibly test millions of peope, confine them to their houses, prevent movement of any kind, and probably rapidly eliminate the virus again.

“The beauty” of living in a modern day totalitarian state.

Meanwhile the rest of the world, made up mostly of nations where the authorities have nothing like the same in depth detailed knowledge of citizens’ whereabouts, or their past movements, and lack the ability to exercise the same absolute control over movement,

– is going to be struggling to deal with Covid-19 for considerably longer than three months,

– very likely it will cause massive problems for nations for many years to come.

The economic harm to the global economy in 2020 is almost incalculable.

More of this in the section below, ‘where are we heading?’

– but the Chinese are manufacturing masks, all kinds of other protective equipment, tests, and ventilators… on a huge scale, exporting them out to the rest of the world, and making a huge amount of money in the process.

A little ironic ?

We can add to this ‘irony’, that a lot of the things that they are exporting are of extremely substandard quality. They simply don’t work.

The UK returned 3.5 million antibody tests, because our testing revealed that they gave false results. Apparently we are ‘hoping to get a refund’.

We better… faulty tests could have caused a huge swathe of wholly unnecessary casualties, with anyone tested potentially believing they had immunity to the virus, when in reality they didn’t.

Of course it’s not just the UK, China has dispatched large quantities of low grade, often faulty Personal Protective Equipment to increasingly desperate nations.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8211427/Government-demands-money-China-3-5-million-antibody-tests-faulty.html

Again, potentially this could have resulted in a huge, completely avoidable loss of life.

Despite the fact China stands to benefit in a huge way, for many years to come,

– personally I can not believe that Chinese authorities developed and then released Covid-19 deliberately into their own population,

– hoping that it would spread on to the rest of the world, and they would be able to contain it quickly, whilst the rest of the world struggled, potentially for many years.

One very risky undertaking. Plus, if this was a planned virus release, surely they would have had a vaccine prepared first, and then released the Covid-19 somewhere else, many thousands of miles away?

However, it’s fair to say if China did have a deep desire to cripple Western economies, there would be few better ways of achieving it than Covid-19.

https://www.express.co.uk/comment/expresscomment/1272525/China-responsible-for-coronavirus-Wuhan-virology-Trump-cost

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Could we eliminate Covid-19 in the UK?

The virus can not be eliminated completely without locking down the entire country for many months, and in the process, completely destroying our economy.

Even if we achieved “virus free” status, it would be extremely difficult to maintain without changing our whole way of operating as a nation,

– in 2019, 100 million people landed at London’s six airports.  Clearly it would be impossible to oversee a strict quarantine of just London’s arrivals. More of this later.

We could also never hope to close down the inevitable future outbreaks in the way that China can, and has.

Unless that is, we are prepared to have our every movement monitored and controlled, in the same way the Chinese government controls and monitors the Chinese population.

We know that Covid-19, even the most infectious strains, can be controlled to a degree by severely limiting personal interactions. What our government has termed “Lockdowns”.

It stands to reason, if you largely prevent people from having any close contact with each other, the virus will not be able to transmit from one person to another person.  It’s a virus, it’s not a mystical entity.

However we don’t bother to calculate the cost of multiple, extended lockdowns to the economy, to the mental and physical health of the UK population, to our children’s education etc.

“Cost/benefit analyses” of this kind are deemed unimportant.

Preventing the spread of the virus is simply too important to bother worrying about anything else.

The things we used to concern ourselves with,

– cancer, heart disease, suicides, diabetes, a generation of children leaving school with a much poorer education than they would have done two years ago. Minor things like these, must simply “take a back seat”.

After tens of billions have been invested in their development, in record time, we now have vaccinations to add to our “toolbox” for fighting the virus.  Yay!

Great. “A silver bullet” which will allow us to return to “a normal life”.

Except even once the vast majority of the “vulnerable groups” of people have been vaccinated, we are now being told we will likely need to be locked for several more months at least.

No clear explanation is being offered at to why.

We’ve only had our freedoms stripped away for best part of a year already (as of Jan 2021),

– dowe deserve a clear explanation of the reasons why they cannot be immediately returned, once the most vulnerable in our society have been protected with a vaccine ?  Apparently not.

Many countries have used cheap, already available drugs to treat the early stages of Covid-19 infection,

– originally, and controversially, Hydroxychloroquin in combination with Azithromycin, more recently, Ivermectin.

The advantage of using treatments over vaccines is that you only need to provide them for the people who contract the virus and get ill,

– not almost the whole population, depending on the time vaccines are effective for, potentially every year “forever more”.  Maybe even more than once a year.

Despite this there seems to be very little interest in treatments by those running Western democracies.

You may wonder why this is.  I know I do….

You may suggest that the fact that billions have been invested in vaccines by “Big Pharma” has something to do with it, and that if cheap, already available drugs were proven to be able to play a key part in tackling the Covid-19 epidemic across the world,

– this would be an absolute disaster for the huge pharmaceutical companies who have invested so many tens of billions in vaccine development.

I couldn’t possibly comment.

We have to find a way out of this mess, my suggestion can be found here:

https://petedurnell.com/covid-19-how-did-we-get-into-this-mess-and-how-do-we-get-out/its-time-for-plan-2021/what-would-plan-2021-look-like/

What I would suggest is, as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, the overly simplified message of “Stay at Home”, was always the wrong one, and remains so.

Sitting indoors for “months on end”, is in many ways the absolute worst thing we can do. It’s terrible for our immune systems, which we badly need to be at the peak of their abilities with such a nasty virus around.

There are many however in our mass media who would appear to want this, and who take every opportunity to lobby government ministers to both increase the restrictions on our liberty, and the length of time that they should be enforced.

(Perhaps the fact that these media reporters/journalists are themselves still able to work, able to pay their mortgages, and in some cases, have a back garden roughly the same size as a small park… means they aren’t really that bothered about lockdown restrictions on a personal basis.

We are not all so fortunate. Not all of us can manage to quietly slip off to the UAE or Antigua for our Winter holidays…).

Here is just one example of how journalists seem to be revelling in this crisis, and very happy to attempt to make as difficult as they can for the general population during it:

Easter 2020: the government issued a message saying ‘Stay at home if you possibly can”,

– BBC and Sky headlined screamed ‘Government says everyone must stay indoors over Easter!’

Staying at home, and staying indoors, are completely different things, although not to the BBC or Sky apparently.

BBC and Sky were both very happy to confuse and conflate the two.

Why? I guess it made a better story, more dramatic, more impact. Much better ‘clickbait’.

Sure, it almost certainly also meant the level of fear and anxiety was massively and arguably unnecessarily raised in the general population,

– potentially it meant that millions sweltered in their small flats, and needlessly had an extremely miserable Easter holiday

– mistakenly believing that they were not allowed to venture out of their front door,

– but, well “who cares about that?”

Clearly not the BBC or Sky editing teams, producers, reporters or journalists.

They wanted drama and impact, and they were quite prepared to manipulate and change the government’s message in order to get it.  So “Stay At Home” became “Stay Indoors”.

Their altered message was effective, it even fooled the police in some areas, “well done Sky/BBC News” :

Second example:

– UK government stated we should only take one outdoor exercise period, but did not put a time limit on it,

– BBC and Sky both reported that it must not exceed an hour in duration.

Even when a minister stated, on air, that “it is not  time limited”,  I watched a Sky news reporter try his absolute hardest to push the government minister to state that a daily exercise period should be, under no circumstances, more than one hour.

The minister flatly refused to put a strict time limit on outdoor exercise, however Sky News subsequently frequently claimed that it must not be any longer than one hour anyway.

It seems that these reporters will not be happy until they have convinced our government to issue an edict that we must all be permanently chained to our television sets.

If they were self employed, lived in a small flat with no garden. would they be so keen to get the government to order an effective house arrest on the population?

I doubt it.

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So we know the virus came from China, we know the local area it first appeared in, we know the local market and the Wuhan Institute of Virology have both been effectively ‘deep cleaned’ to try to cover the evidence of exactly how the virus made its way into humans,

– and a number of the scientists involved have either died, or simply “disappeared”.

– we also know that for many weeks (probably around six) the Chinese authorities were aware that human to human transmission of a dangerous new virus was happening in Wuhan,

– but they only took actions to prevent the spread of the virus to the rest of China, not the rest of the world.

Almost incredibly, they locked down the city of Wuhan, with its eleven million strong population, so no one could leave it,

– except by air for international travel.

Wuhan citizens could, and did, fly out to nations around the world during this period of around nine days, whilst they were not allowed to take any internal flights.

And this was sanctioned by the World Health Organisation (WHO), who told nations there was no need to block incoming flights from Wuhan.

You couldn’t make it up.

If a Wuhan resident wanted to visit a relative in Beijing, the only way they could do it was to fly to another country, and then back to Beijing,

– although if what they had done was spotted, no doubt the Chinese authorities would have denied them entry, or at least put them into a 14 day quarantine.

If we had taken earlier action, ignored the WHO recommendations/guidelines, could we have avoided Covid-19 taking hold in the UK altogether?

The overwhelming evidence from around the world would suggest ‘No’.

No developed country has managed to escape Covid-19.  It’s pretty much everywhere, although in different stages of spreading.

Even if China hadn’t taken the actions they did, and the WHO hadn’t been so complicit/utterly useless,

– we would have really struggled to prevent it from entering a city like London,

– where more than 50% of the population was born outside of the UK, and with huge numbers of people travelling in and out of London airports, visiting relatives and friends, from across the globe.

Something approaching 100 million people land, from all around the world, in one of London’s six airports every year,

– any one of them could potentially be carrying a virus whereby they are infectious before they have any symptoms, in some cases never developing any symptoms at all,

– but still able to transmit the virus to others, who may then go on to develop very serious ones.

Could we have enforced the kind of quarantine restrictions needed, sending arrivals to hotels, camps etc, and then guarding them to make sure they don’t leave for at least 10 days… on this huge number of people?

Realistically, no.  Even if the political will had been present to attempt to do so, “the logistics” would have been too difficult.

We simply could never have done what New Zealand did, effectively closed all airports, and enforced 14 days quarantine on the few returning nationals that we let in after that point.

It would just not have been practicable.

Our government has screwed up in many ways in its attempts to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

However claiming that we could have completely closed our borders in February 2020, and kept the virus out, or at least largely done so and then closed small outbreaks down, is using a huge amount of “2020 hindsight”,

– it was realistically never going to happen.  No government would have done this, only knowing such a small amount about what was to come.

At around the same time as New Zealand took this action, mayor of London, Sadiq Khan was actually telling all Londoners that there was ‘no risk of contracting Coivd-19 on public transport’.

‘No risk’ of catching coronavirus on the Tube, says Sadiq Khan

We can only imagine what he would have had to say if the Conservative government had ordered all points of entry into the UK to be closed indefinitely, whilst he was busy claiming you couldn’t catch Covid-19 on the Tube.

The government then made the argument that once the virus has taken hold all over the UK, March/April 2020,

– there was very little point in closing the airports, or imposing strict quarantine on those entering from other countries, particularly those which had lower infection rates than we had.

Logically they had a point.  In my opinion,

– quarantining people coming from China in July 2020, where there was by then very little, if any Covid-19 in their population, would seem a little bit pointless.

If we are ever able to manage to reduce the number of people with the virus to a relatively small number in the UK, then there might be a very strong argument for strictly quarantining anyone who comes here, until we have vaccinated and protected people who are in the most vulnerable groups.

However if we somehow reduced the 100 million people who arrived in London’s airports in 2019, down to, say a million in 2021,

– would we have the facilities and man power to be able to enforce a strict 14 day quarantine on even this number? Probably not.

The “global, open for business London” that Sadiq Khan is fond of touting, is also, by the same token, a “global, open to the world’s diseases London”.

The two, to a large degree, unfortunately “go hand in hand.

We would have to change our way life beyond recognition in order to be able to thrust everyone who arrives here into an enforced 10 day quarantine, in a guarded hotel or camp of some kind.

It would also cost an incredible amount of money, which either travellers or the UK taxpayer would have to pick up.

However, “in an ideal world” could we, should we, have taken earlier actions, in particular enforced a lockdown sooner than we did in 2019?

– I would suggest absolutely ‘Yes’.

If we had locked down just a couple of weeks earlier, we would have bought ourselves some incredibly valuable time, maybe in effect quite a lot more than two weeks,

– and we would have been a lot better prepared, in terms of badly needed medical equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies, tests etc.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/22/official-report-exercise-cygnus-uk-was-not-prepared-for-pandemic-is-published

An equally fair criticism of this Conservative government is that they failed to act upon the recommendations of “Exercise Cygnus”,  a simulation of a very serious ‘flu pandemic hitting the UK, in 2016.

If they had done, there is very little doubt that we would have been far better prepared, and many lives, quite possibly thousands of lives, would have been saved.

Where are we heading?

A year since the pandemic began, no one knows how much immunity we gain from being infected and recovering from Covid-19, or the length of time such immunity might last.  Similarly, no one really knows how long any immunity gained from being vaccinated with one of the various vaccines will last.

Lockdown until vaccines

Our government appears to have believed “locking us up”, preventing us from interacting with each other, was “the only tool in its toolbox” throughout 2020.  Lockdowns were used extensively.

“Lockdown until vaccines become available”… was its openly stated policy.

In 2021 vaccines became widely available.

As soon we have vaccinated the “top four groups”, the most vulnerable in our society, there is little reason to keep the rest of the population locked up, isolated from each other.

The government however now appears to be intent on making reasons up to continue with strict restrictions on our liberty and way of life, long after this point.

“Lockdown until a long time after vaccines” …is its new mantra.

Their favourite justification for this at the time of writing (Jan 2021) is :

“We don’t know whether vaccines will prevent people from still spreading the virus to others”

Ok.  This may be true, but clearly it doesn’t matter.

If almost no one is likely to be made seriously ill or die by Covid-19, because either they have been vaccinated against it, or they are simply young and healthy,

– then clearly it doesn’t matter if those who have been vaccinated can still pass it on…  to other people… who won’t get seriously ill or die.

Equally it will no longer matter if people who have no symptoms pass it on to other people.

The vast majority of the population will at this point be protected from getting seriously ill and/or dying from Covid-19, by either having been vaccinated, or being young fit and healthy,

– there is no justification for continuing to “lock up”, “forcibly isolate” people from each other.

At this point the huge amount of harm caused by doing so…. will massively outweigh the amount of harm which might still be caused by the virus in young people, or people who have been vaccinated, but are still not fully protected,

– the mental health of the whole nation is being massively impacted, even children,

– hospitals are taking in more children with mental health issues than physical ailments:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/22/official-report-exercise-cygnus-uk-was-not-prepared-for-pandemic-is-published

Our physical health, through enforced inactivity, overeating and drinking, and being “bombarded with fear” for 12 months, has taken a huge hit.

It was never true to say that for Lockdowns, “the cure was worse than the disease”, because lockdowns didn’t cure anything.  Certainly not Covid-19.  Not even lockdowns most vociferous advocates would try to claim lockdowns “cure Covid-19”.

Arguably what lockdowns did, was delay the progression of the virus slightly (I say ‘arguably’, because many studies have concluded that they didn’t even do this)

– something which is of value if you are close to having either a means of either preventing the disease, or treating it effectively.  As previously discussed, we may well have both of these available now, but only vaccines appear to be of interest to our government.

A large number of scientists promoted something called “The Great Barrington Declaration” towards the end of 2020. The idea of this was that people in vulnerable groups should be protected, the rest of the population allowed to resume normal life.

“Normal life”, being the life we led in 2019.   Not some “new normal” nonsense.

The Great Barrington Declaration was rubbished by lockdown advocates, primarily because, they argued, it would be impossible to protect people in vulnerable groups whilst everyone else carried on with their lives.

They argued that locking healthy people up for long periods was the only way to protect those with underlying conditions and the elderly.  The most vulnerable in our society.

We now have vaccines available.  We can protect near enough everyone in vulnerable groups by vaccinating them.

Once this has been done, not only can everyone else return to living their lives as we did prior to 2020, everyone in the vulnerable groups can also do so.

It’s like a kind of “Great Barrington Declaration scenario”, but far better.  Protection of the vulnerable has happened.

Even so it won’t be simple to move forward.

We have a huge number of people who are incredibly scared, and they won’t be getting much less scared in a short space of time.

We have a government which appears to care about Covid-19 related deaths and their record in preventing them, far more than deaths from suicides, cancer, heart disease etc.

Click on this link to read why we need a new approach, why we can not afford to shuffle indefinitely between Tiers, and/or full lockdowns, and why we can not simply rely on vaccines to get us back “a normal life” :

https://petedurnell.com/covid-19-how-did-we-get-into-this-mess-and-how-do-we-get-out/its-time-for-plan-2021/why-do-we-need-a-plan-2021/

And this link to read my suggestions for a path out of the nightmare we are currently trapped in:

https://petedurnell.com/covid-19-how-did-we-get-into-this-mess-and-how-do-we-get-out/its-time-for-plan-2021/what-would-plan-2021-look-like/

Thank you for reading,

Please keep questioning everything and thinking for yourself.

Pete