Tag Archives: dreaded Lurgi

An epic wheeze…

Mrs S and I were talking in the car today as we pootled off to LocalTown. “Bill, I’m angry.” I didn’t ask what about because I already knew.
“I am too. It’s these bloody useless lockdowns.” I replied. “They make me think dark thoughts. My mind is going places I don’t want it to go.”
“What sort of dark thoughts? Share them.” She said. So I did. Nasty thoughts of committing bloody murder on those responsible for keeping us locked down. Ingeniously nasty thoughts. I think I must have a bit of Viking in my ancestry from backinnadawnatime. I won’t go into detail here, but I had it all worked out, from munition and delivery systems to the where and more importantly who. My other half let me talk for a while before making a suggestion.

Her idea was inspired by the Myanmar protests, where protesters against the military coup circulated messages on social media and then doing exactly the opposite of the message. One was along the lines of “Let’s all make sure our cars don’t break down in the rush hour tomorrow.” Then blocking traffic by pretending they had car problems at the same time, thus snarling up the streets of the capital. Men and women dressing up as each other on protest marches. Poking fun at the obvious powerlessness of the powers that be.

I thought about it for a while and took what she told me on board before I thought “What an epic wheeze!” Butting heads with the Stasi in Trafalgar Square hasn’t helped the anti-lockdown protesters, it just got people baton charged and beaten up like on September 26th. Therefore, so I am moved to consider, the traditional means of protest, particularly rallies and marches, don’t work any more. The powers that be are all geared up to fight that kind of gathering with kettling, riot shields and batons. And social media companies readily crack down on those opposed to their agenda.

So therefore, a shared message like “Simon said, let’s not quick march across pedestrian crossings dressed like extras from Dr Who tomorrow at midnight.” might have the bastards in black running around chasing groups of less than twenty around multiple locations slow walking across pedestrian crossings in pandemic fancy dress, say full painters coveralls and masks. Of course the reversal of the message would be easily deciphered, but by doing these protests flashmob style, that should get the message home in a way that even the BBC couldn’t ignore. Like doing a zombie thing around their cities wearing placards like “Beaten by the Stasi.” As a protest against the beatings or by wearing full mask and hazmat. The cops couldn’t do anything because you’re in full PPE and thus over-complying with these godawful regulations. Alternatively, the moment the cops turn up, the idea would be to disperse in all directions and change out of the protest disguise.

Reverse the psychology, keep the opposition guessing, then disappear should be the rule. Don’t square off against better armed and resourced opponents. Make them look silly, because of all the things the power hungry hate, it’s being made to look ridiculous. Or make them suffer the consequences they’ve dumped on the rest of us. Viva Frei has an interesting suggestion;

Yes, if “We’re all in this together” how come those making these lockdown decisions are still sucking so richly on the public teat? Off with their funding.

What about…

…Florida. Apparently direct comparison of mortality and cases between Florida, a US state that dropped all lockdown measures last year, has an infection / mortality curve significantly lower than ‘hard lockdown’ states like New York and California.

Watch, share, then cry a little for all those who didn’t get their serious health problems treated because all the hospital systems were fixated on SARS/COV-2. For all those who lost hope because of lockdowns and took a step off this mortal coil.

For my part, I’ve been trying to keep our household and that of ‘South’ (Via video message) jollied along. Which has been a trying task. My normally genial disposition has almost gone into acute failure mode on at least thirty occasions in the last twelve months alone. You see the despair of those you love and it twists a knife in your guts because they are trapped far away, and you are precluded from visiting them to offer succour.

The real world data does not lie. You can talk up ‘R’ numbers and ‘cases’ all you like, but the corollary evidence that lockdowns do more harm than good is all out there. In the real world, not in the shonky mathematical models coming out of places like Imperial College.

Maybe Boris Johnson will hear of this, sack the current bunch of time pleasers in SAGE and decide to lift the UK lockdowns. If he does, other nations will follow. And the more quickly the better. The world, social, economic and scientific needs to heal from this Lysenkoist Government-induced disaster.

A great reset needs to happen, but not the one the World Economic Forum want. We need a great reset where people are free to go about their everyday lives. Free to trade, create, live, love and work again. That, as the data coming out of Florida tells us, is what will fix everything, not some neo-fascist totalitarian nightmare pushed by the mega-rich, who it seems don’t have enough so they want everybody else’s money and possessions.

I’d like to believe that there is a light ahead in the darkness of lockdown, but my native cynicism tells me this may yet be another false dawn. Please let me be wrong on this specific point.

One thing we need to be reassured about though, is that lockdowns are never, ever used again. For any reason whatsoever.

About being a ‘Denier’

Ivor Cummins runs the numbers.

Do lockdowns cause more deaths than not? Well now, so they do. Now there’s a thing. Not to mention wearing a mask, or even two creating a lovely environment for rebreathing all those lovely pathogens and lowering your blood gases, thus a mask wearer’s mental acuity.

Is a great deal of the issue exacerbated by nosocomial infections? By over 40%, according to reliable sources of information. Not the mainstream or the politicians. Proper science sources. Source data and peer reviewed studies.

Can I just say; “Told you so.”

But no one cares what people like me think, because according to them I’m just a ‘science denier’ with a lifetime of experience across a range of industry sectors, from Engineering through IT and front line healthcare, amongst others. We must be shut up because we have valid reasons for disagreeing with the propaganda merchants.

Happy Valentines day tomorrow.

Ennui in D minor

Busy doing nothing effective and getting rather fed up. It’s like the whole business world has dozed off. Emails don’t get answered.
Voicemail boxes are full. Enforced inactivity is fine for a few days, but for the best part of a year? For a virus that has a mortality rate not much higher than seasonal Influenza and can be killed by soapy water (Amongst other things)?

That and nearly half the population seems to have lost their reason. I need at least another two very fiendish Jigsaw puzzles to tide me over this lot, as it doesn’t seem likely that we’re getting out of this nutty lockdown situation anywhere soon. For light relief I shall be playing a little Johannes Sebastian Bach in the background. Ignore the flailing hands, I’m probably miming to “Toccata in Fugue” on the headphones, again. If I’m swaying from side to side it’s Brandenberg concerto no 3 allegro moderato.

Outside it’s been snowing, landlords kids have been out snowballing and tobogganing and I’m wondering when all the global warming we keep getting promised is going to turn up. All that job lot of sun cream I bought as an investment is starting to go off.

Spreading about

Presented without comment.

Suffice it to say that I concur. The numbers are all out there if you want to really look and not trust the mainstream.

How to screw up

Rent day conversation. Landlord likes his rent in cash. Not cheque or money transfer, but in physical Euros, which I have to get from the bank every month. It’s a minor inconvenience, but it gives me an excuse to pass through Gardai checkpoints. Colum (Not his real name) and I enjoy a cordial relationship. We pay him money every month, occasionally shoo wayward livestock back into the sheds and meadows, exchange gifts over Christmas and talk when time allows.

“Morning Colum. How are you coping?” I asked him.
“Fairly well I suppose.” He said with a slightly morose air. He’s an Irish farmer, what can I say? “How’s yourself?”
“Dodging the checkpoints.” I grinned cheerfully. “Otherwise we’re good.”
“Ah yes.” He intoned in his slow Western brogue. “Those people up in Dublin are not handling this Covid thing well are they?” I’m glad he’s not a Cork or Kerry man, they speak too quickly, spilling out words like a river in spate, and even with my trained ear I find them hard to follow sometimes. Their speech is quick and musical, full of reiterations, back eddies and redundancies. Fun to listen to, but hard to understand properly. Colum’s slow western drawl is quite relaxing by comparison.
“Well, they’re politicians.” I replied.
He looked at me gravely and said. “They’ve not got much of a handle on it have they?”
“No. You got that right.” I responded and changed the subject. “Money? Receipt’s made out.” The pleasantries and signing off complete, we bid him farewell and he went back to his work, and we to ours.

He was right of course. The current crop of politicians, Tory, Labour, Limp Dems, Greens, Liberals, Democrats, Fianna whatever label they put upon themselves, are not doing a good job of handling what is in reality, a fairly minor crisis. Yes, people have died, but a good many should not have done. Politics prevented usable anti-viral treatments being applied and thus cost lives, as well as sent infected patients into non-infected environments full of the vulnerable. The grapevine tells me Hospitals aren’t giving anti-virals but using steroids and ventilators instead. Because of politics. Beds have been cut. Because of politics. In short, ignorant politicians panicked and made a mess. And are still panicking because no-one wants to admit they were wrong, or be the first to admit being so.

No government that I’m currently aware of, is applying or recommending known remedies, like improving metabolic health with simple means that work for everyone. This is stuff that was commonly printed in ‘Home doctor’ books available in the 1960’s and before. Even today, Doctors recommend them. Cut sugar intake. Eat a balanced diet. Cut down on Bread and rice. Get out for a walk every day in the fresh air. Do something physical. That way you’ll have what they call better ‘metabolic health’ and so be less likely to suffer the worst of any disease.

Now we’re in this crazy logjam of lockdowns and restrictions, maybe because no country wants to be made a pariah by other nations who will probably use the freedom within a neighbour state as an excuse to have a little trade war, or other such one-uppersonship to curry favour with their respective electorates. No politician wants to be first to ease the lockdowns, because for them the restrictions aren’t an issue. They can get all those little services the general public is denied. Apart from Boris Johnson, do any of these characters look badly groomed?

The thing is, those of us with an operating brain cell have things called memories. We remember previous virus outbreaks. We check our sources. We double check the evidence. Where possible we go to the base stats and don’t trust spin or regurgitated press releases. We also listen to the real world; for example, overheard in a Supermarket yesterday. Woman to checkout operator, “Oh, me Mam had the jab a few weeks ago and she still got Covid.” And that’s not the first time I’ve heard people say similar things within audible range over the last week or two. That’s from a very small sample size. All you need to do is keep your eyes and ears open.

You won’t read much about that in the political or media mainstream. The best they have is “Shut up and do what you’re told.” while people lose their livelihoods and human rights.

I agree with my farmer landlord; the politicians and media have it wrong. This pandemic has been an object lesson in how to screw up. And haven’t they done that in spades?

It’s good for you

From the comments in my last post, I have been doing a little research. You know Summer 2020 when people were being castigated for scarpering down to Devon and Cornwall and other coastal nadirs? If you believed the mainstream, everyone was going to have their froats slit in their beds and all sorts of gharsley happenings because people needed a time out in relative warmth and fresh sea air. If for nothing else but their sanity.

Oddly enough, nothing like the media prognostications of doom happened. Despite the lack of masks and social distancing there was no observable ‘spike’ in ‘cases’ during or after the 13.5 day median SARS/COV-2 incubation period following the rush to the coast, and I have yet to hear anything in the mainstream or from the politicians as to why this should be. Surely, if you believe the various health authorities, there should have been a massive rise in deaths, lung rot and all sorts of awfulness. Instead the excess respiratory mortalities did what they normally do in Summer, bumped along the bottom.

“But-but-but.” cry the true believers in Sceance. “We’re doomed because we are told we are by our beloved governments and news media. If you don’t believe them you’re just a no-good Science Denier.” Well chums, have you ever thought that there may be some pretty good reasons why they (and you) might be wrong?

Let me digress for a moment and introduce an olde worlde anti-viral treatment once used by many before the nascence of new fangled pharmaceuticals. I’ve used it a few times when the old tubes were extra snotty and whilst it’s not as convenient as Night Nurse or similar medications, it does work.

What you will need:
A heat resistant bowl.
An old towel.
A couple of pints of hot water.
A dessert spoon of salt.
A touch of menthol. A couple of crystals, no more.

Method:
Put hot water in bowl.
Stir in salt and menthol.
Bend head over bowl.
Drape towel over head so it forms a steam tent.
Slowly at first, a few shallow breaths at a time, breathe in the vapour from the hot mixture. This will start the process of clearing the catarrh from your nose, sinuses and throat. After five breaths, straighten up and cough up any loosened snot and catarrh. Wait thirty seconds, breathing slowly. Rinse / repeat for about five minutes or so. The congestion should start to clear after the first five breaths, but if it doesn’t, repeat as necessary.

Okay, you might say, that’s fine for a cold or man flu, but does it work for worse? Actually yes. The Menthol helps open up your sinuses and nasal passages and the salt water vapour makes life difficult for viruses whilst helping liquefy any congestion and letting the cilia in your airways shift the loosened sputum (a.k.a. snot and catarrh) from your airways. Spit any detritus thus dislodged into the bowl. If it’s a horrible pastel green, repeat for a day or so until the dislodged crap turns a cloudy white and then clears. Takes a few sessions, and the heat from the water can feel a bit uncomfortable, but it does work.

Caveat: If you see bright red and you haven’t a split lip or a nosebleed, call your Doctor, now. Tiny flecks aren’t too bad, but big red gobs more than two mm across spell real trouble. Seek help.

However, if you aren’t coughing blood the likelihood is that you’ll survive, so no panic. Carry on breathing in the vapour. By the way, for those of you still not convinced, have a read of what the University of Edinburgh’s Usher Institute has to say on the matter. For the hypochondriacs amongst you, you can even sign up as a volunteer for the ELVIS study. Yes, their study really is called ELVIS.

Now, returning by this circuitous route to the original panic, and I can’t find any maps showing where SARS/COV-2 deaths have been highest, but I’m pretty sure that the saline element in sea breezes provide a less than hospitable environment for the SARS/COV-2 virus and variants. Hence the lower rate of infections and deaths reported from seaside towns and villages. Now I hear rumours that fishermen out on the briny are less afflicted by this pandemic, and only seem to be at risk of infection when onshore. Personal anecdote here; used to do a lot of deep sea fishing and ‘wrecking’, and if I was feeling snotty and hungover or had a cold when we shipped out on the tide, I always felt better after an hour or so out on the water. Could this have something to do with the salt content of sea air?

No idea, but it sounds like it’s got legs doesn’t it? Otherwise why does sea air have so many claimed beneficial health effects? The link is there, both in folk medicine and scientific study. The two tend to agree. Will the ELVIS study confirm the hypothesis of salt as a protecting factor against nasty bugs like SARS/COV-2? Is the old GP’s treatment for respiratory illness like sunshine, fresh sea air a little fresh fruit and moderate exercise, take two aspirin and call me in the morning, a better preventative than all the masks and lockdowns on the planet? Could it be true that;

By jingo, if it is, we’re all saved! Huzzah! Instead of drugs you should be prescribed a weekend by the sea. Although I think some deeply unpleasant people are actually enjoying the drama of the dreaded lurgi and being able to grass on their neighbours to the Stasi. They don’t really want to get out of this unhappy pandemic situation. Miserable arsehead bastards.

Despair

Don’t know what triggered it, but today it hit me, out of the blue, a sense of overwhelming despair. I’d done all my work for the day, met all my objectives. A bit of a struggle, but that’s not rare. At the moment everything is taking ten times as long at it should and that is weighing upon me.

Like so many others I’m not having a good lockdown. Frankly if I met anyone who rubbed my face in it about being a bit down I’d be inclined to lose my rag and give them a lesson they might not have the time to regret. If you’re having a good lockdown then you’re either one of the clever buggers who can get around the system, or one of those smug public sector arseheads who takes great delight in only doing a tenth of their usual workload and blaming a disease, when it’s the response to the disease that is really causing all the harm.

We keep on getting told that our hospital systems are ‘overstressed’ and we need to be locked down under house arrest because we have to ‘save our health services’. Well here’s a thing. It was reported in the Guardian that between 2010 and 2019, 15,834 beds have been cut in the UK’s ‘wonderful’ NHS (Stats Here).

No wonder the political class have been running around with their trousers around their ankles, blaming everyone else. Public health provision has declined in real terms. Therefore no spare capacity in the Health system when SARS/COV-2 escaped from the great prison-state of Communist China. Now the whole world is imprisoned.

But the ‘challenge’ was risen to. People voluntarily forfeited their turn in the health care systems, temporary hospitals were built and never really used, some even decommissioned. But the restrictions continued all through the Summer. Then the mask mandates were brought in, during the smegging Summer for heavens sake! Low season for respiratory disease. Face masks which do not protect against viruses and even act as a sink of infection for respiratory disease. See this article from Livescience, which contains the quote from one mask study;

” most swabs from the outside of patient masks were positive for coronavirus”

Consider this. Trying to stop the spread of SARS/COV-2, or any other virus with a surgical mask is like trying to stop a plague of mosquitoes with chain link fencing. The mesh of the fence only serves as a place for the mosquitoes to perch, like the fibres of a mask give the droplets carrying viruses somewhere to pause before being drawn into your mouth and throat with the next inhalation. The overall effect is to concentrate the amount of virus laden droplets you breathe in, because they are not dispersing normally to be killed by natural Ultra-violet light. One might even posit that the pandemic is being extended by the use of masks, when UV light and chemical means would be far more efficacious.

If we were looking for patterns of viral spread, we might be better following the weather rather for looking for patterns in lockdowns. Dry bright sunny days where UV is high means less viral spread. Chilly, rainy weather when the moisture content of the air is higher means a quicker and more pervasive spread. Or staying indoors. The average home or office is the best place to catch a disease, next to hospitals of course.

Now think about this; UV on the skin stimulates vitamin D immunoglobulins vital to boost immune systems. Which means half an hour under a sun lamp every other day would not only kill the viral spread, but also boost anyone’s immune system high enough to fight off most infections. As well as making them feel better. Sunlight, if you hadn’t already noticed, is a mood elevator. Being indoors all the time, not so much.

If we really, really wanted to kill this pandemic completely stone cold dead we should re-open all the tanning salons and give out free sessions, not get the Police to shut them down. Sunbathing in moderation is good for you. Better than you think. Science fact; UV light is both anti-viral and anti-bacterial. It has long been used in food production facilities to sanitise food prior to consumption.

Yet we’re still using lockdowns and masks when they are contra-indicated and found not to work.

Later today I’m off to run the gauntlet of Gardai checkpoints enforcing stupid regulations which are simply keeping this pandemic going. It really makes me despair.

Update: The UK Advertising Standards Authority are having a go at an advert put out by the Government. Commented on by the erudite Mr Webb below.

If you have concerns about one of these scaremongering advertisements. Complaints page is here. Every little helps.

PCR – A Doctor speaks

Is the PCR test fit for purpose? Does it really say “For lab use only” on the packaging of all of these tests, like the warning on many mask packages “Will not protect against viruses”

A Dr Sam Bailey puts forward her observations after she was ‘fact checked’ by some self appointed ‘fact checkers’

Here we go again…

Well, it’s 2021 chums! Aaaand here we go again. More useless, futile lockdowns following all the other futile and useless lockdowns which didn’t work throughout 2020. Frankly I’m amazed, not at the obvious lack of intelligence on display, but at the sheer lack of imagination. Hey! Let’s do the same thing which didn’t work last time around, just change the name. Genius, eh? No.

I’ve noticed there’s a lot of pressure from public sector unions, which I know from experience form the least productive part of the economy. Frankly, if you shut all the daycare centres masquerading as the state sector education system, and maybe all those pressuring for the additional lockdowns should have their salaries cut by 50%+ during the next ‘wave’ or ‘spike’ or whatever excuse the powers that be are using, like the few private sector workers currently being ‘furloughed’ into penury. But maybe the UK public sector is indulging in a little sabotage, having been told their wages will be frozen for the next three years they’ve decided to watch it all burn to the ground.

Personally, if a union is one of those pressuring the government to shut down schools, then maybe the union’s members should be sent home on the quarter pay pittance offered to those not on the public dime. Like the teachers unions. What are they going to do when the schools are shut anyway? Go on strike? Who would notice? In the meantime, just like in the early 1970’s, UK education, politically correct mish mash that it appears to be, of the next generation suffers.

Yep. It’s a crazy old world out there and no mistake. My current major issue is the banking system, and shifting funds from Canada back into Europe and the UK keeps my head slamming into the nearest wall. Mrs S and I had a bit of a row over it. She had a go at me for no good reason twice in the same day. Which almost made me lose my temper, which for me is an event akin to finding the manure pile in a rocking horse stable. I was rather annoyed though. I’m not a bloody doormat and get really pissed off when my good nature is mistaken for me being anyone’s bitch.

However, sanity has prevailed, we’ve talked things through, and we’re back to our more usual selves, although after a particularly stressful session with a not so helpful help desk today, my rabid Donald Duck impression as I walked downstairs made her jump, then she burst out laughing. So we’re all good again. Life is too short not to see the ridiculous side. Even if the continual repetition of stupidity gets right on my tits.

Now I need a drink.

Update. By the way; for those of you thinking I may be full of it. Have a look at the analysis below. No ‘denial of science’, no propaganda, just the numbers and nothing but the numbers. In context. Like being compared to like. Peer reviewed studies and information derived from proper, reputable scientific publications.

Now would anyone carefully explain to me, using proper science and without resorting to the pejorative, why the hell we’re still doing lockdowns?

Numbers don’t lie

The mainstream media over here in Ireland have picked up on the ‘Numbers don’t lie’ theme and are abusing it by misrepresenting the data on their front pages, by posting overall death stats without context, or how they fit in with the seasonal norms. Mr Cummins, see below, gives the context the mainstream media and politicians won’t, or can’t provide. He points out that overall mortality (All deaths) is down on 2015, 2016 & 2019 according to the Euromomo all cause mortality stats. To clarify, overall mortality, not just deaths attributable to SARS/COV-2 is less than ‘normal’, (albeit marginally) despite an increasing population and the spike of deaths in March and April 2020.

Derived from the statistical analysis, a great deal of the ‘cases’ appear to be nosocomial (Hospital originating) infections, meaning that if you didn’t have the infection when you went in to hospital, there is a better than average chance you would catch a dose whilst a patient or visitor. Outside, not so much. Hospitals appear to be the sinks of infection, so therefore the only people who should have to be covered by the mask and lockdown regulations are patients, visitors, health care workers and support staff. The rest of the public should be able to go about their business in the world outside the hospital system with minimal risk. The numbers, taken in context, don’t lie. Only those seeking to profit from an unjustified public panic would say otherwise by presenting seasonal norms as something new and outlandish.

So, no need for mask wearing and lockdowns in the general population. Only at hospitals and medical facilities. This is where the effort to contain the spread of any bug is most effective, by improving disease control measures where they can do the most good. Where the sinks of infection are. Which is infection control 101. Control the source, contain the disease.

As for those of you thinking a mask does any good, try the following bit of real experimental science you can do at home. No tricks, no unpleasant bending. Put on a dark coloured jumper. Charcoal or dark blue is best. Being careful not to get talc anywhere else, lightly (lightly! not throw it all over the flaming place!) dust a surgical or cloth mask with ordinary talcum powder on the outside only. Now carefully put on your mask, having first wiped your face with a wet wipe. After that, simply go around the house, doing normal chores for half an hour or so. Now stop. Take a careful look in the mirror. Where is the talc residue on your chest and shoulders? Wipe your face again. Do you find any traces of talcum powder and where do you find them? Around your mouth and nostrils or on the inside of your mask? On your hands? Did you find yourself wanting to sneeze or cough more or less than usual whilst wearing your mask? Look around the house where you’ve been lounging / working / whatever. Where do you find traces of talc? That is where all the germs and viruses go. All over the smegging place. Mask or no.

This is how good a surgical mask is at stopping disease spread in an uncontrolled atmosphere (Your home) whilst you are wearing street clothes. This is why surgical masks work best as part of a structured regimen of disease control. Specifically wearing a disposable apron over freshly laundered scrubs in conjunction with a surgical cap or hood in a controlled atmosphere and regularly disinfectant-treated surfaces, they work just fine at helping reduce the spread of a given pathogen.

This is not to say people aren’t dying from SARS/COV-2 infections, just that as far as a cause of death is concerned, it’s even taken the place of the seasonal influenza toll in parts of the Southern Hemisphere, no idea why that is. Maybe SARS/COV-2 is simply scything down those who would otherwise have been offed by a milder and less infectious, but equally lethal to those with compromised immune systems, seasonal influenza. Which is good, for a given value of ‘good’ because by reducing the numbers of those who are infected with flu, it means those strains of coronavirus caused influenzas may well die out altogether. Why? Because no hosts mean no disease. Viruses, to the best of my knowledge do not multiply without a host, i.e. you or another living creature. Including plants. Funny old thing life, isn’t it?

As for Mrs S and I, we’re healthy and doing very well, having received unexpected gifts and some excellent personal news over the last three days. All we really need to get going properly with the next phase of our grand adventure is for these pointless lockdowns to be removed and we’ll be verily flashing along like greased lightning. As will everyone else. Speed the day that sanity returns.

Now I need a nice hot mug of tea.

Bored with tiers

So Cromwell Johnson has cancelled Christmas, as we suspected he would. The git. Well imagine my shock. As UK PM he’s turned out to be one big disappointment after another.

Over here in slightly more sensible Ireland, we’re being allowed (Allowed! Hah!) to cross county borders and go pootle around the neighbouring countryside, and (Gasp!) be allowed to celebrate Christmas. How very fucking generous of our political class. Bunch of Cnuts. Unlike you poor buggers in the UK, for whom tier 3 was not enough. Now there’s an ultra scary new bug which means everyone is back under house arrest (Actually one of just under 13,000 new strains of SARS/COV-2). Said bug is supposed to be highly virulent, but the stats show no uptick in deaths outside of the seasonal norms. Although, according to one specialist;

Dr Maria van Kerkhove, the technical lead of COVID-19 response and the Head of Emerging Diseases and Zoonosis Unit at WHO, has also confirmed that the strain involved has been circulating for many months, though she referred to it as N501Y.

So this ‘new, virulent strain’ we’re all supposed to be hiding under the blankets about has been around for ages. It’s not new. The death count hasn’t deviated outside seasonal norms. So that kind of shoots the whole need for ‘tier 4′ restrictions down in flames doesn’t it? The only conclusion any sensible person can draw from this is that the politicians don’t have the first feckin’ clue what they’re on about.

Not to mention the ‘advisory groups’ like SAGE and NPHET claiming to be ‘experts’ when it turns out there are few real scientists amongst them, mainly mathematical modellers and ‘social psychologists’ from all accounts. We need proper epidemiologists and virologists on these advisory boards. One decent economist who understands how small businesses power an economy would be good too, rather than the current bunch of affectioned time-pleasers.

Mrs S and I increasingly find ourselves wondering openly and in public why this is. Politicians are faking having had the vaccine in order to persuade the rest of it that a vaccine is warranted. Which under the current circumstances is not the case. The ‘cases’ being no more than detections of (live or dead – doesn’t matter to the test) viral fragments because the PCR test is not fit for this specific use.

For my part, I try (as always) to find a little light in the darkness, a silver lining to the storm clouds. And I find it in family. ‘North’ is closeted in London with serious boyfriend, both of them, unlike so many, are finding ways to keep the metaphorical wolf from the door while building a possible future together. I look at it this way; if their relationship can blossom and flourish despite the lockdowns and stresses of the UK’s crapital, the Sticker clan may start a new expansionary phase some time in 2021. Providing the lockdowns end in 2021. Which at this rate doesn’t seem likely. We can always offer them safe haven and a fast Broadband connection over here if the UK goes into TITSUP mode.

One lives in hope that London based stepdaughter can find a little happiness amongst the shitshow currently being pushed on us by panicky and clueless politicians. ‘South’ based in Sydney Australia has been struggling a bit, but with a little judicious subbing out, is still up, running and socialising enough to keep her sanity, which is important.

Of course, Mrs S and I are being careful not to spoil either of our two girls, and bless the pair of them, they’ve always demurred when financial help has been offered. However, there is a pot of money marked “For dire emergencies only” just in case. It’s at times like these you earn your corn as a parent of grown-ups.

On that topic, today I have a Lamb and Vegetable soup fragranced with a little Rosemary brewing on the stove. To be served with cucumber sandwiches and a few other oddments. Cucumber Sandwiches Bill? How quaint! How, oh never mind. Don’t worry, I’m not becoming decadent, we’re not cutting the crusts off. Chill. Relax and enjoy the Christmas that never was.

I’ll try and be a bit more cheerful in the next post or two.

Heard immunity?

Dr Mike Yeadon, interviewed on Talk Radio has it. We in Northern Europe are pretty much at herd immunity. Despite all the hand waving and breathless talk of forced / unforced vaccination, mortality is dropping, and the masks, lockdowns and tiers have nothing to do with it.

As I have posted before; the law of diminishing returns tells us that the main bulk of the populace, after eight months of half baked restrictions, has already either been exposed to SARS/COV-2, or are so unlikely to catch it and die that their odds of doing so are lower than being licked to death by a massive mutant Sloth on Platform 4 Paddington Station on a Tuesday in a torrential downpour. Simple numbers. And it’s always in the numbers. I think I’ll wait one more week before dumping our Pfizer shares.

Anyway, ‘North’ is trying to see if she can get a few days with us over the festering season, I’m compiling a menu, and with luck we might just have a partial family Christmas this year. I’ll just keep a weather eye out for smooth talking buggers with needles, to whom I will be saying; “No, please, after you.” There’ll be coal in their Christmas stockings for certain.

Me too

I’m with this guy. Let’s see all the establishment, the Judiciary, Cabinet, opposition and all the mainstream slebs and media lined up for their SARS/COV-2 jabs before the NHS, before the public. Then wait a week or so to watch for side effects. If nothing else but to restore credibility.

Lead by example or stop pretending to lead. If you dare, Mister Johnson.

It’s easy to send other people down a slope to the unknown when you know you won’t be going with them.

That all you got?

Sorry to hear the news about Arecibo by the way. A useful tool in it’s day, but superseded by more modern arrays. Still, as a scientific icon it was wonderful to behold. See Scott Manley’s commentary on the collapse below.

Hi-ho, another day on Youtube comment threads, another raft of insults. Oddly enough not here. I keep on posting polite, well-informed comments on YouTube about the efficacy of masks and lockdowns and keep on getting insulted. Just a little light flak, so I must be close to the mark. Good to see that some of my old infection control and aseptic training has come in useful for raising the blood pressure of the partisan and ill-informed.

For those who use name calling as a debating tool, all I can say is; “is that all you got?” Or in the words of much-cancelled philosopher Stephan Molyneaux; “Not an argument.”

As many bloggers have pointed out; if you think surgical masks work outside of a controlled environment like operating theatre, just read the packaging. “Will not protect from airborne pathogens” is one of the texts I’ve read on surgical mask wrappers. Must get some pictures tomorrow when I’m out. Never mind that your street clothes are a regular petri dish of infection, so the moment that mask comes off, you are exposed to all the icky pathogens you’ve supposedly been dodging, so you might as well not have bothered. Never mind that you’ve been re-breathing the bacteria and virus ridden contents of your sinuses. As well as lowering your blood O2 saturation levels.

The only way to be sure of not spreading or catching any disease would be to wear full Hazmat with a full decon unit at your front door to a positive pressure air conditioned home. But that’s a bit extreme. Far better to ensure your immune system is up to snuff. Simple measure like getting a little sunshine where possible, unmasked exercise out in the fresh air. Balanced diet. Maybe some Vitamin D supplements.

Surgical masks at this stage of the game are little better than a totem, a fetish object or idol to hang on to. In a non-surgical environment they’re a placebo at best. Besides, the worst of the pandemic passed months ago. The pandemic proper has been effectively over since late May. No matter what the mathematical modellers say. I say; How often have they been right? On the fingers of one hand… Never? Their predictions of doom are normally out by a factor of ten, which says a lot for any ‘science’ based on their prognostications. As far as I’m concerned they are looking at the numbers wrong. Too many assumptions based on bad premises.

As for the UK vaccine rollout planned for as early as next week. Bad idea. Not enough testing. The BioNTech/Pfizer mRNA vaccine will probably be foisted on UK hospital staff and the public sector first. Me, I’ll just avoid hospitals and needles as much as I can for the time being.

If the vaccine works without too many casualties, and that’s a big if, then maybe I’ll think about getting the jab, just so I can actually bloody well travel to the UK and Europe. Until then I’ll be watching carefully as we have shares in Pfizer, and at the first hint of trouble will dump the lot. Must talk to our broker today. Put contingencies in place. Our exposure isn’t huge, but if our drug company investment went completely down the pan we stand to lose about four figures GBP. A small enough sum, but it would still sting.

On the upside, Mrs S has finally got her new Irish bank account and other financial paperwork sorted out at long last. Which has taken over a month longer than it should. However, here we are. We’re no longer bleeding money hand over fist and our investment portfolio is almost back to where it was. We will pay no capital gains for at least the next two years at this rate. Not unless the markets do something miraculous in the next 28 days. Which is highly unlikely. Seasonal patterns alone indicate a depressed market or ‘market correction’ across the board over New Year.

Until these lockdowns and pointless tiers are removed everything will take an unconscionable time to sort out. Then there is a massive nascent backlog of follow up, which the politicians and so-called ‘experts’ don’t seem to appreciate. It’s just not only civil liberties or economy or mental health of the population, it’s everything. The tax take to pay for all the stupidity will be significantly reduced. So the politicians will have to raid already depleted savings and pensions accounts to make good the shortfall. On top of an estimated reduction in the overall economy of 10.3% (And then some). The July figures say that it’s 17.2% down on February. Add to that the latest round of lockdowns and tiers and we’re looking at something like 25% down overall on 2019. Even though the stock market is significantly up.

Personally, I think that any major uptick will be just a temporary rebound, or “Dead cat bounce“. If the restrictions continue, the overall decline will, too. This isn’t just my opinion by the way, this is based on personal investment experience. Not government figures, but the end result in cold hard cash where we’ve dodged major financial bullets.

On the subject of cash Mrs S and I were fortunate in that we had money put by to pay for our transatlantic move, which has cost us around 50% more than it should because of delays and cancellations due to lockdowns. I reckon we spent somewhere in the region of CAD$10,000 (about GBP5,800 at the time of writing) over budget. Which is about my tax bill for 2018-19. Because of lockdown caused losses my tax liability for 2019-2020 should be a negative value. No idea what 2021 will bring if matters continue. I’d put my resources offshore again if that were possible, but just try and open an offshore account as a civilian with less than seven figures to shift around nowadays. If you’ve forgotten your Grandmothers inside leg measurement you haven’t a chance.