COVID-19_Nurse

The Covid-19 Pandemic

Why Has It All Gone So Tragically Wrong?

Geoff Kirby

Please click here to hear me giving a YouTube talk on the Covid-19 pandemic in mid-August 2020. Please click here to download my personal scientific assessment addressing the issues set out in this blog.

Please click on these links to navigate around this blog.

CovidThe UK Government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic has largely been a shambles.

In September, a mother in Weymouth, Dorset, desperate to get a Covid-19 test for her sick son, was told that the nearest available testing stations were in Aberdeen or Inverness - a journey of 600 miles each way. Even key NHS workers cannot get tested at stations closer than over 100 miles.

The country went into lock down in March 2020 with the prospects of a severe death toll ahead. Through much of May 2020 the UK had the second highest total death toll in the world. And yet, with six month’s warning of a severe pandemic, the Government’s testing operation and its ‘test and trace’ system are in disarray.

It was announced on 5th September that the existing Covid-19 tests were so sensitive that they were detecting dead viruses in people who had survived an infection and were no longer infectious. There could now be as many as 2 million infection survivors out there in the UK having the potential to be logged as infected whereas they are cured and no longer infectious. As many as 80% of these survivors may have been asymptomatic and had not even realised they had been infected with Covid-19.

In the UK it was, for many months, the policy to tell people with mild Covid-19 symptoms not to report to their GP or NHS hospitals but to stay at home and take painkillers. These infected and infectious people were never counted and the pandemic swept to a peak of over one thousand deaths each day in mid-April 2020; a peak rate surpassed only by the USA.

Boris

In May 2020 these were the leaders of the countries having the highest and second highest Covid-19 deaths in the world.

In September 2020, holidaymakers could not fly from Greece to Scotland without self-isolating. However, they could fly from Greece to Northern England and then drive to Scotland without any restrictions. This is a typical example of the ridiculously inconsistent regulations and advice being given out to UK citizens.

Under the Government’s ‘Rule of Six’, six adults were enjoying a B-B-Q in a garden but this was deemed to be illegal. Why? Because there was also a baby asleep in a bedroom in the house making a seventh person! Ridiculous enough to be straight out of a Monty Python sketch!

In my detailed scientific assessment - click here to read it - I set out the story of how bad decisions in the UK have been based on wholly unreliable data. For example, on 5th September, the UK Department of Health stated that the daily number of new infections peaked in April at around 100,000 cases even though the peak daily infection rate reported at the time was about 6,000. - see here.

One in eight of UK Covid-19 sufferers in hospital caught the disease whilst originally being treated for health issues unrelated to Covid-19.  Hospitals are dangerous places for the sick to be.

Jacinda_Ardern

Jacinda Ardern - Prime Minister of New Zealand. An international hero of the Covid-19 Pandemic?

Overall the UK has suffered over 600 deaths per million of the population compared with 112 per million in Germany, 30 per million in Australia and 5 per million in New Zealand. Jacinda Ardern got the response to the pandemic spot on in New Zealand whilst the UK has suffered a disaster. Please watch the video here and regret that we have Boris Johnson as Prime Minister presiding over the UK’s  40,000+ deaths and not someone of Jacinda’s intelligence and authority. However, early lock down has put New Zealand into its deepest recession in decades - please click here. Who best got the balance right between the elderly dying in their thousands and the economy being protected?

I have shown - please click here - that as many as 20,000 lives might have been saved in the UK if lock down had been imposed a week earlier. That would have hit the economy harder however. So where did the Government’s priority lie - saving the lives of over 20,000 predominantly elderly citizens or propping up the economy?

The OECD has rated the performance of its twenty-one member states in terms of their responses to the Covid-19 pandemic. The UK was rated ‘Poor’ marginally above the worst performer Belgium - please click here.

Currently, daily infection rates are apparently rising in the UK. However, daily death rates are stable. Hospital admissions for Covid-19 may be starting to rise but the evidence is still unclear. Will there be a ‘second wave’ in the UK or are the increases in infection rate due to more intensive and thorough testing? As President Trump has wisely stated

“The more tests that are done, the more infected people are found”

Epidemiologists are predicting that, if a second wave were to strike the UK, it could kill up to 85,000 people - double the number so far killed by the first wave - see here. Click here for evidence of a possible second UK wave being imminent.

WorldDeaths1

Observe on the above chart that for much of May 2020 the UK suffered the second worst death toll in the world after the USA despite the UK having the 21st largest population.

The Covid-19 pandemic is not yet under control in South and Central America, Africa, India and the USA. Will total worldwide deaths reach two million before a vaccine brings this disease under control?

Currently, every day there are three times as many men dying of prostate cancer and three times as many women dying of breast cancer as there are people dying of Covid-19 in the UK. But you don’t see those statistics flashed up every night on the BBC TV evening news!

There are about 200 deaths each day in the UK from all causes for every one Covid-19 death.

Let us not allow our concentration on Covid-19 to distract us from the main killer diseases stalking us every day.


Biographical notes

Geoff Kirby graduated in 1960 from London University with a First Class Honours degree in Physics. He also has a degree from the Open University awarded in 2006 in Environmental Sciences and The History of Mathematics. His career has been as a scientist specializing in systems and project assessments along with environmental data analysis and application. On retirement he was Head of the Royal Navy’s Oceanographic Research Programme. He started writing and publishing books in 2014 and he published his seventh book at the age of eighty - www.geoffkirby.co.uk/Books

Photographs are copyright-free from Wikipedia. Charts are by Geoff Kirby and may be freely used.

 

 

 

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