Another eye-opening article in the Daily Telegraph UK. It is worth reading. Now, an eminent professor in the UK is being proven wrong. Professor Fergusson’s prediction about deaths from covid in January in the UK has been proven completely wrong. The good news is that these predictions were parrotted in Malta and those who repeated these predictions too are being proven wrong! The real harm is the lockdowns themselves which have ruined people’s lives. The real danger lies in the fact that pupils and students are being denied schooling and are being asked to continuously wear masks. Even the vaccination of children is being questioned in the UK. Professors of Medicine are finally starting to speak out and say that it is completely wrong to have children indiscriminately vaccinated. The future prediction is that those scientists in the UK who were in favour of lockdowns will go into hibernation to avoid the general public disgrace that is awaiting them.
We were told to fear omicron – but it’s a pussycat compared to what came before
After almost two gruelling years, it feels like we have forgotten what coping with a normal everyday illness is likeALLISON PEARSON4 January 2022 • 7:00pm
Amid the cracker-paper debris and cranberry-sauce splats of the Christmas table at Pearson Towers, my reunited, multiply-tested family grew nostalgic for simpler, pre-Covid times. “Do you remember people used to say: ‘There’s something going round’?” my mother asked.
“And you didn’t need to lock yourself indoors for a week if you got the something,” I sighed.
“What about ‘There’s a lot of it about’?” asked one of the kids.
Ah, yes, the good old days. That golden period when the National Education Union was not dictating terms to ministers, and teachers with “a bit of a cold” (remember “a bit of a cold”?) still went into school to do their job because you couldn’t stay home for just any little thing, could you?
Well, staying home for any little thing now appears to be our national public health strategy. An astonishing one million Britons are currently isolating on account of a variant which is milky tea compared to the triple espresso of its predecessors. The country, which was just getting going again, is grinding to a halt. Bins are overflowing since collections were scaled back due to Covid-related staff shortages and liquefying turkey carcasses will soon be attracting jubilant parties of rats. Train services in several regions are pared to the bone.
Most children have either had Covid, been vaccinated or both, so they enjoy superb immunity, but the poor kids will still be sent home for a week and lose yet more learning because Hugo in Year 6 snogged someone on Boxing Day. Or a teacher, almost certainly triple-vaccinated, tests positive and goes off sick even though they’re not at risk of serious illness. In fact, they’re perfectly fine. Meanwhile, more than 110,000 NHS staff – nearly one in 10 – were absent on New Year’s Eve, with almost 50,000 of those said to be sick or self-isolating at home because of Covid.
I hate to ask, but how many of them were actually, you know, ill? The people I know who had omicron over Christmas variously reported a scratchy throat, feeling tired, feeling “fed up because I can’t go out”, feeling “roughly how I feel the day after several pints of Guinness”, or no symptoms whatsoever. Yet each one of them had to self-isolate for seven days.
What happens if it is acceptable not to go to work if you are perfectly fit and healthy, have no signs of any illness but test positive? Economic collapse, obviously – but our public health officials seem to think that’s a small price to pay if it means three people called Mike don’t sneeze in the office.
One and a half million tests per day is a job creation scheme for corona paranoia, and at a time when we are supposedly “learning to live with the virus”. Staff shortages are caused by the constant testing of healthy individuals and overlong quarantines. (In France, any healthworker with suspected Covid who tests negative is straight back into the hospital, no questions asked.) And now here comes the spectre of the Winter of Discontent, shaking his icy shackles and threatening that the children will go untaught, the rubbish will pile high in the streets and even the dead may remain unburied. All because of a mild illness which, if the UK wasn’t testing so obsessively (two or three times as much as our European neighbours), would barely register as a threat.
Happy New Fear! It was as recently as December 17 that Professor Neil Ferguson was contemplating the most “optimistic” scenario of 3,000 deaths a day in January if no further restrictions were imposed. Boris held his nerve (or backbench Tory rebels and the Cabinet held it for him), and no further restrictions were imposed. On Monday, the total number of Covid deaths reported was 42; the seven-day average is 127. At that scale of failure, Ferguson must be a shoo-in for a knighthood.
Look, Covid cases in hospitals have certainly increased over the past 10 days, but ICU occupancy remains as it has been for the past few months. There has been no increase in patients needing high-dependency care, which points to omicron being far less severe than its nasty predecessors. If the vaccines didn’t work against omicron, we would definitely be seeing more very sick patients by now, given that cases started to spread to the older age group about three weeks ago. Currently, no NHS region is at even half the Covid occupancy of last January and ICU occupancy is only a third of what it was this time last year. The NHS, whatever its management may claim, can cope.
“There is nothing good about omicron,” said Professor (now Sir) Chris Whitty. How wrong he was. Omicron, as the South Africans tried to tell us, appears to be a softly purring pussycat compared to the voracious tiger unleashed on a population with very little immunity in the spring of 2020.
I reckon there are other reasons, dear reader, to be optimistic at the start of 2022. The penny has finally dropped for many trusting, decent people about how NHS hospital data can be used to terrify us into compliance with the restrictions. Responding to the latest admission figures, Piers Morgan tweeted: “But how many are in hospital specifically due to Covid, and how many tested positive when admitted for other health issues?” A very good question, Piers. Please go on asking it loud and clear so those NHS moaning Malcolms can’t get away with pulling the wool over our eyes.
It’s no surprise to hear reports that some officers in the Covid War are burning their uniforms and fleeing. They were only following orders, you understand. Scientists with an eye on posterity are starting to distance themselves from lockdowns, which will end up killing tens of thousands and blighting many more lives than Covid ever did. “In a year or two, I guarantee there won’t be a single scientist who admits to having supported the closure of schools,” said one.
In his forthcoming book, The Year the World Went Mad: A Scientific Memoir (Sandstone Press, £16.99), Professor Mark Woolhouse, one of the country’s leading epidemiologists, says that the theory outlined by Michael Gove at a No 10 briefing that “everybody is at risk” from the virus was a dreadful error. The lockdowns which followed were “morally wrong and highly damaging”, says Prof Woolhouse. “We did serious harm to our children and young adults who were robbed of their education, jobs and normal existence… We were mesmerised by the once-in-a-century scale of the emergency and succeeded only in making a crisis even worse. In short, we panicked.”
Thanks are due to Prof Woolhouse for articulating what some of us have known in our hearts for a long time. We panicked back then when we should have protected the vulnerable and let the rest get on with their lives. Shamefully, as the pandemic dwindles away, we are still doing the headless-chicken thing. Crazy testing of healthy people on an industrial scale (would we ever have done that for flu?), masks for schoolchildren in class, vaccinating the young who already have superb natural immunity; none of it will do any good, in fact, it will only drag things out. Which might, I’m afraid, suit certain people rather well.
Our resolution for 2022 must be to get back to normal as quickly as possible. Our children’s future depends on it. Let’s make a start by only testing people who have symptoms, as they do in Denmark and other rational nations. Reduce the self-isolation time to five, or even three, days so staff shortages don’t endanger people’s lives and wreck more businesses. Don’t send any child home who isn’t displaying Covid symptoms. The virus won’t harm them; a ruined education will.
You know, after almost two gruelling years, it feels like we have forgotten what normal illness is like. Or that illness is normal and we can cope with it. We have to relearn that instinct and stop using the word “safe” every second sentence. Why not be honest and start calling omicron what it is? As we used to. A bit of a cold. There’s something going round. There’s a lot of it about.
There is – but we no longer need to fear it.
You can read Allison Pearson’s column every Tuesday and listen to Allison with fellow columnist Liam Halligan on The Telegraph’s Planet Normal podcast, featuring news and views from beyond the bubble, on the audio player above or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your preferred podcast app