The Corona Diaries – Day 310

Today was a lot warmer. I had quite a pleasant walk up on to my hill. I came back to discover a Hermes courier had delivered my Hendrix at Woburn Abbey album.

It is certainly not the best Hendrix live album – a bit of a messy one really – a lot of amp problems and distortion – but then any Hendrix is great Hendrix despite the problems.

It has particular significance for me because I was there in 68 and it was one of the most exciting gigs I’ve been too. So it was nice, for the first time, to listen to those sounds of yesteryear. Very nostalgic!

Jimi Hendrix- ‘Woburn Music Festival’ – Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire, England 7/6/68 – YouTube

At the same time I was continuing my editing! It’s going well!!

Out there in Coronaland there is starting to be some analysis of our lamentable performance. 100,162 deaths. One of the worst performances in the whole world! Lamentable is probably the right word but doesn’t really come close. That is 1,400 deaths per million people. Appalling!!

The concensus was that countries such as Vietnam, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia were prepared and took decisive action – They were fast to lockdown. They shut borders and insisted on isolation, imposed social distancing and mask wearing, had effective track and tracing – in other they had a plan!

Countries such as the UK, USA, Brazil and Italy walked into it with complacency, denial and were slow and useless.

To make matters worse it appears that our stats may be underestimating the number of deaths. The ecess deaths for this period are 110,100!

The government has repeated said that this pandemic has caught everyone unawares and there is no playbook. That’s a lie!

It did not catch everyone out and there was a playbook. It is the one all those countries with very low death rates have been following. They put it together following the SARS and MERS outbreaks. It works!

Out pathetic cross between a scarecrow and a clown said ‘I take full responsibility for everything the government has done.’

Is he taking responsibility for:

Not monitoring what was going on in China back in November 2000?

For running down the NHS for a decade?

For driving away nurses and doctors with their draconian hostile environment policy?

For not looking at the playbook from SARS and MERS?

For having no strategy?

For not having enough PPE stored for emergencies?

For not having enough store of chemicals for Test and Trace?

For ignoring what was going on in Europe during February and March?

For being utterly complacent?

For not shutting borders and testing people coming in?

For not having an adequate Test and Trace system?

For appointing useless people (proven to be useless) such as Dido Harding into organising Track and Trace and Apps just because they have Tory contacts?

For giving out huge sums of money to Tory cronies who had no experience of setting up apps or producing PPE but just happened to be Tory donors?

For locking down too late?

For not seeking help from countries who know?

For coming out with all manner of waffly cheerleading rubbish about world-beating, oven-ready, moonshots?

For stupid campaigns in the Summer – such as Eat Out To Help out and Back To The Office – which helped put up the rate of infection?

For vacillating on masks?

For sending kids back to school without adequate protection?

For sending students back to university to catch the disease and spread it?

For keeping superspreader events like horseracing and international football?

Seemingly he won’t take responsibility at all. He went on to say ‘We truly did everything we could.’

100,106 deaths is them doing everything they could!!

Well, despite their utter ineptitude the levels are coming down. We are getting through the winter. Vaccination is rolling out.

Stay safe! The end is nigh!

25 thoughts on “The Corona Diaries – Day 310

  1. It’s easy to criticise. China was still concealing the virus in January 2020 and removing/silencing any Chinese medics who dared to speak out the truth. The WHO failed to challenged the official Chinese line. Mexico has a higher death rate also and Portugal has the highest in Europe. The probability is that official death rates have been grossly underestimated in authoritarian states like China, Russia, Iran etc. On the positive side, which you completely ignore, the UK is way ahead of any other country when it comes to administering a vaccine.

    1. It is easy to criticise – particularly when the performance has been so dismal.
      It is quite possible that countries such as Russia, China, North Korea and Iran have been lying. But I don’t compare our performance with them. I compare it to the countries like Singapore, Vietnam, New Zealand and Australi who have performed so much better than us.
      Even countries like Germany have performed appreciably better.
      You do not get 100,000 deaths and up with the worst in the world for nothing!
      The WHO were aware of something going on in November. We should have been monitoring that too!
      We had the Cygnus report in 2017 which laid bare our inadequacies and failed to act.
      You can make excuses for a poor performance I don’t. New Zealand 25 UK 100,106.
      Yes finally, after dismal performances with PPE, Apps, Track and Trace and border health security, we have a good roll out of the vaccine!
      If we had done the job right in the first place that would not have been so crucial, would it?

  2. The UK is a densely populated state unlike NZ & Australia. They closed their borders even to their own citizens trying to return. Try getting into those states as a refugee. You won’t, unlike access to the UK. The UK has not imprisoned migrants on an island in the middle of an ocean, like Australia. Also the UK is a transit country and until the end of 2020 millions of EU citizens had the right to travel to and from the UK. Such rights do not exist except in a very limited way in those countries. I agree the UK government’s response was tardy and far from perfect. It’s an unprecedented pandemic in the West. Fortunately your hero Corbyn was not in charge otherwise I’m certain the situation would be far worse. It’s probable not possible that the authoritarian countries have grossly downplayed the problem there. If you believe the Chinese official figures then you may well believe the moon is made of cheese. Watch the death rate increase dramatically in several EU states within the next few months.

    1. Your argument would hold water if it wasn’t for the fact that Vietnam is incredibly densely populated, has huge borders with China, Laos and Cambodia – close to the epicentre, and is not an island. Likewise, Singapore which is a major hub for international travel. Both have controlled Covid and have almost no cases and no deaths.
      Our government should have paid attention to the Cygnus report from 2017. It should have paid attention and been monitoring what was happening around the world (that is a prime responsibility of a government) – ready for the next pandemic. It should have had strategic plans drawn up. It should not have run-down public services. It should not have driven so many nurses and doctors away. It should not have dumped infected people into care homes in a mad panic. It should have monitored its borders, tested people and run health checks on incomers. It should have started much earlier. It should have locked down much quicker. It should have had reserves of chemicals for testing as well as stocks of PPE. It should have used proper companies for producing PPE (not cronies), it should have used the NHS (professionals) for Test and Trace, instead of putting in their cronies and inexperienced people. It should have invested in the App being produced by other countries instead of putting their cronies in charge of another costly failed project.
      We’ve seen the same approach with Brexit – billions squandered with bogus companies and huge sums given to Tory donors.
      Corbyn couldn’t have done worse could he? We’re the worst in the world.
      You do not get to be worst by chance.
      Johnson is a muddler and a clown. His ineptitude, along with Tory greed, has killed tens of thousands.

  3. It’s not a competition. It’s not scientifically sound to compare countries with vastly-different social systems, prior similar experience of virus pandemics and geographical identities. The UK has a large mix of residents from many countries at all times. For the past 6 weeks I have lived next door to 2 South African nationals, one of whom has recently visited South Africa. How many non-Vietnamese are regularly visiting Vietnam during the pandemic? Would you have the UK closing its borders during the pandemic? It’s not feasible. There are other relevant factors such as underreporting, and different methods of collecting data. Research experts have commented on evidence of underreporting in the Financial Times. Data collected from countries with authoritarian political systems should always be treated with caution. I understand your wish to attack the UK government at every opportunity since you identify with the “loony left” promulgated by Corbynites. Their politics were soundly rejected by the people in 2019 despite the alternative being electing a PM who fits partly your description of him. Instead of being a naysayer and negative why not give some praise to your having already received a vaccination thanks to the speedy roll-out by the UK government. If you had moved to the EU bloc, you would still be waiting.

    1. Hi Bede, if you have been reading my reports you will see that I do give praise where it is due. The vaccine roll out worked really well because it was put where the other things should have been put – with the professionals of the NHS instead of the cronies of the Tory party.
      You can make any excuses you like for this woeful performance but you do not get to be the worst in the worst for nothing.
      The first task of any government is to protect its citizens. This bunch of extreme Brexiteers has failed to do that.
      The Cygnus report in 2017 made it quite clear what needed to be done. They ignored it. They ignored what was going on in China and then in Italy and Spain. They acted far too late.
      I went to Hong Kong in the midst of the SARS pandemic. I had to fill in health details, details of where I was staying, and was given a temperature check. I was told what symptoms to watch for and what to do about it. In the event of someone on my flight going down with SARS I would have been contacted and isolated and my contacts followed up. We let 2 million people into the country during the pandemic without a check or anything else!
      Lax and complacent.
      We were unprepared and slow to react. We had no strategies and panicked. They should have had a department on guard and clear strategies. They allowed the Liverpool game with unchecked people coming in from Spain. They allowed the horse racing. Stupid and dangerous.
      The summer schemes to drive people back to the office and to Eat Out To Help Out were stupid.
      I expect a government to do better.
      You try and tar me with a ‘loony’ brush for wanting more fair systems. It is the Tories who are the extremists. They culled all the reasonable people like Rory Stewart. What they are left with are a rabid bunch of extreme right-wingers.

  4. Starmer has been nicknamed “Captain Hindsight”. I reckon that name applies also to you. It’s easy to source mistakes/faults after the event. We had no prior experience of dealing with a pandemic like SARS unlike the Far Eastern countries. Up to February 2020 the official Chinese line was that the virus was a viral pneumonia & under control. The WHO swallowed the deceit and possibly now are about to white-wash the stupidity of messing with zootronic viruses in insecure facilities. Dealing with the pandemic is a difficult balancing act. It’s easy for you to criticise when you can sit at home with financial security and no children to monitor. What about those millions of citizens who rely on their weekly wage? Your phrase “rabid bunch etc” displays your bias. There are people on the far left and far right who hold extreme views. Most people sit inbetween. The extreme far left bent promulgated by Corbynites was about fairness only as a superficial front to disguise its true nature. Corbyn’s main adviser, Seumas Milne, described himself as a communist, defended Stalin and also defended Russia’s treatment of the Ukraine. Would you choose to live under the Russian regime where peaceful protesters are savaged in the street by the State police? Or how about moving to Hong Kong if you have such a high opinion of that place? It’s knackered now the Chinese government has exerted strict control.

    1. Once again you try to deflect things with personal attacks.
      I repeat – you do not get the worst result in the world by accident – you earn it.
      It isn’t hindsight when you have a report, such as the Cygnus report, explaining what needs to be done. That’s foresight.
      A government should not be caught out. They should have feelers out to know what is going on – including when a country like China is trying to cover things up. That is what we have diplomats and the secret service for.
      It sounds as if it is you who are swallowing the conspiracy theory of this coming from a Chinese lab. The evidence I’ve read is that it is not manufactured and has a clear line of descent. I’ll keep an open mind but the ‘wet market’ theory makes good biological sense. There is no evidence of any DNA splicing.
      Are you trying to deny that the Tory Party has been taken over by an extreme element?? Really?? Just ask Hammond, Heseltine, Clarke and Stewart if they agree with you.
      Dealing with a pandemic is a balancing act between the economy and jobs and mass deaths. It requires strategy and preparation.
      We’ve had plenty of warning. Obama gave a big speech about forthcoming pandemics and set up a number of institutions to prepare for the next on. Trump disbanded them.
      The truth of the matter is that our bunch of extreme loonies only cared about elections and Brexit. They ignored the Cygnus report, ran down the NHS, drove away nurses and doctors, ignored what was going on in Wuhan and then Italy. They were complacent, unprepared, completely caught out, panicking, inept, too slow and then, instead of using professionals, put out contracts to their own cronies. They are immoral, corrupt and useless.
      That’s not hindsight. That’s reality. That’s why we have the worst record in the world.
      You’re defending a bunch of immoral extreme clowns.
      Would Corbyn have done better? Well he couldn’t have done any worse could he? You can’t be much worse.
      He wouldn’t have run down the NHS or driven nurses and doctors away. He would have had a better coordinated response with the EU for PPE and ventilators. The rest is conjecture.
      No I do not like the fascist totalitarian states of Russia or China. That’s not my idea of socialist democracy or fairness and equality – neither is it communism.
      Many other countries were far better prepared, more decisive, had clear strategies and the facilities to deal with it. They’ve shown us up. 25 or 35 deaths compared to 108,000 (and counting). Your beloved Tories have needlessly killed tens of thousands and completely messed up the economy in the process.

  5. I do not support the Tory party so to describe them as my “beloved Tories” is inaccurate. I voted for them in the 2019 election because the prospect of a Corbyn government trashing the country for future generations was unacceptable. The fact that Corbyn’s Labour suffered their worst election result since the 30s shows that the vast majority of the country shared my viewpoint. I believe you were blinded by Corbyn’s fake promises and persuasive oratory into supporting a man who had proved himself totally incompetent as a Councillor previously. You have stated previously that most of the UK population are stupid so I assume you take the elitist view that you know better.
    There is evidence from scientists formerly working in the Wuhan virology lab that there is a possibility the virus originated from research on viruses obtained from bats captured in a cave 1,000 miles away. Those scientists have been silenced and their research papers have been removed from the internet. The Chinese official line has been to attribute the source of the virus to various locations including the Wuhan wet market, outer space; USA soldiers and even Italy. There is a reasonable chance the truth will come out eventually but I doubt you read much around many of the topics on which you profess expertise. Is the allegation that the Chinese authorities are imprisoning and sexually abusing numerous Muslim Chinese citizens a conspiracy theory also in your view?
    Maybe you will need to revise your views on the pandemic in the Autumn when most of the UK population has been vaccinated and fewer have been within the EU. Read some of the comments in the German and Austrian newspapers on the pathetic efforts of the EU and specifically Merkel & Von De Leyen.

    1. I think you were taken in by the media attack on Corbyn. He was portrayed as an extremist. In fact, he was a threat to the establishment. He was after taking money off the wealthy and corporations (the Tories having given them everything and cut the poor) to reestablish greater equality and a fairer country. They vilified him in a lying campaign.
      Now they’ve got Starmer (a watered-down Tory) and the establishment are safe again, inequality reigns and the wealthier get richer and richer at the expense of the poor.
      We’ll see what comes out about Wuhan. That is a possibility though the reports I have read from western scientists (I can’t remember where now) said there was no evidence of genetic engineering in the virus. It is possible to see if DNA or RNA has been spliced. The WHO is looking into it. As someone who taught genetics and genetic engineering for many years (up to a high level) I do have some knowledge in this area. We read the research papers and kept abreast.
      I think the UK have done better than the EU on vaccination. No doubt. It’s the only bloody thing they have done better on. We wouldn’t be in this mess if they had done things better before. Too much cronyism, complacency and ineptitude.
      For someone who claims to be impartial, you are always quick to jump to the defence of Tories and criticise Labour.

  6. What do you consider to be a high level – A level? Did you miss or ignore the BBC reports on Wuhan and the treatment of the Uighur minority? You can say what you like about Corbyn but his previous record made him unfit to run a government. Starmer is no more a watered-down Tory than you are. Certainly he’s a massive improvement on Corbyn and could secure my vote for his party. Clearly you believed Corbyn’s fantastic promises would materialise. I didn’t swallow his propaganda as you did. Since you appear to consider yourself an expert on communism, maybe you could inform the Chinese government that they don’t operate a communist social system. Enlighten them.

    1. The special topic at A-Level Bede. That involved delving into the latest research – well beyond anything I ever did in my degree.
      No I didn’t. I saw what they were doing with the Uighurs. Despicable.
      We’ll see about Starmer. My fear is that he will follow the same capitalist policies that Blair did. I prefer something more resembling socialism – that promotes greater equality. I read the costed Labour manifesto and it was brilliant. Corbyn seemed genuine, idealistic and a far better bet than this bumbling clown who you voted for.
      China, as you well know, is a totalitarian state. Mao in his little red book said that totalitarianism was necessary with such a large population and was a phase on the way to communism. I guess they never developed any further and the hierarchy have simply tightened their grip!
      I am not a communist. I am a democratic socialist. I like the Scandinavian model.

      1. A true believer in democracy would have accepted the referendum result despite it being the opposite of what they wanted. I did. You railed against those who voted to leave, implying they were xenophobic, racist & lacking in intelligence. Communism can never work fairly given the fallible human nature. We are all materialistic, competitive, selfish and acquisitive. If you had read the research data from the Wuhan lab before it was removed from the internet, you would have realised that the research scientists were doing exactly what you referred to as a conspiracy theory.

      2. Well I did not read it so I do not know what you are referring to. The reports I have read were all concerned with bats and pangolins. As I said – I will keep an open mind.

  7. A true believer in democracy would have accepted the referendum result despite it being the opposite of what they wanted. I did. You railed against those who voted to leave, implying they were xenophobic, racist & lacking in intelligence. Communism can never work fairly given the fallible human nature. We are all materialistic, competitive, selfish and acquisitive.

    1. I certainly did complain about Brexit. A totally stupid decision and one that was based on complete fabrication and lies. The campaign by Leave was racist and xenophobic and used hate and fear to stir up support. But I did not oppose the result even if it does make me question democracy.
      It is a decision that has costs us tens of billions and will leave us in a mess.
      Unfortunately democracy empowers people who do not have the intelligence or knowledge with which to make decisions. That’s its failing. They are manipulated by conmen.
      My concern after the vote was to minimise the damage. The country had a poorly conceived referendum that was very close. The Brexiteers did not have a mandate for a hard Brexit like the one we have been lumbered with. We should have had a soft Brexit – left but stayed in the trading mechanisms and cooperation while leaving the political side.
      That’s why I am not a communist. I am a democratic socialist.

  8. Where is your cut-off line between those intelligent and knowledgeable enough to vote and those, in your view, not? Sounds elitist to me from someone who opposes the concept of selective schools. On which side of the line do you place yourself and on what criteria.

    1. I do not make any cut-off line. I just accept a highly flawed system.
      Denying the natural reality that many people are stupid and ill-informed is a bit ostrich-like isn’t it?

  9. I don’t accept that human beings are stupid although they often do stupid actions. That includes people often regarded as highly intelligent who are capable of making mistakes like anyone else. I find your view on the democratic system disturbing. To me it’s elitist and condescending. Maybe you should live in an authoritarian state since the rulers of such states often justify their rule and oppression on the basis of their citizens being too stupid to govern themselves. What are your criteria for determining whether people are stupid?

    1. Bede – once again you are misrepresenting me. The fact that half the population has an IQ below 100 indicates they are not very intelligent. That’s a fact. Teaching for 36 years shows me that a lot of the population are very ignorant on a lot of matters – particularly politics. A large number are stupid.
      I am a democrat. It is the best and fairest system. Its failing is that stupid and uninformed people have the same vote as informed intelligent people. I see no way around that and no better system.
      I support all people, stupid or otherwise. Intelligence is certainly not the only characteristic. I’ve known many stupid, unintelligent people who are the pleasantest people I’ve known. Some of them have been friends. You are putting a negative connotation on stupidity. And yes, so very intelligent people are both stupid and ignorant on many matters.
      Stop trying to deliberately misinterpret what I say.

  10. You don’t need to be very intelligent according to one intelligence quota test to determine for which party/candidate you wish to vote. Possession of knowledge does not inevitably come with a high IQ. Ignorance is “not knowing” for which there are many different reasons, misinformation, lack of interest in the subject-matter etc. Do you want all citizens to take a course before receiving permission to vote? Sounds like another authoritarian approach to me. You taught kids not adults except on your version of the history of rock music in which your favourite artist, Roy Harper, occupied a prominent role even though he is a footnote at best in such a history. That’s bias in my view and but I’m not decrying Roy Harper. I’ve always liked his stuff and own a fair slice of his music.

    1. Yes I agree with all that.
      No I do not want a test.
      We are all biased.
      I want an unbiased media, no spin or lies, truthful politicians, knowledgeable population and a fair system. We’re a long way from that.
      We have a biased media, lying politicians, loads of spin, a politically ignorant population and a system run by a wealthy elite who manipulate gullible people.

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