Question Everything - The True Cost of Lockdowns...
At the Question Everything summit on the 17th of July, Pandemic Podcast host Dan Astin-Gregory assembled a panel of eminent medical, scientific and business experts to give their views on the harms of lockdowns and covid policy and to suggest a better way forward.
Eighteen leaders in their fields spoke about testing, contagion, mental health, human rights, law, the effect on the economy and the long-term health of the nation. Together they painted a dire, avoidable snapshot of covid life but it was also a hopeful one in which we can all make a difference.
Question Everything founder Astin-Gregory highlighted the prolonged collateral damage done by lockdowns: the 4.7 million people added to NHS waiting lists, the 150 million plunged into poverty worldwide and the £2 trillion mountain of national debt that we will repay for generations to come while being poorer than ever.
Economics Professor David Paton pointed out that while we purportedly locked-down to avoid overwhelming health services, infections were actually decreasing before all UK lockdowns. He believes voluntary behavioural changes have been more effective than legal restrictions, which had no significant impact, other than to negatively affect people’s behaviour.
Experienced businessman and columnist Luke Johnson said, “We have developed an obsessive-compulsive focus on a single illness, which has accounted for about 15% of all deaths: what about the other 85% of deaths, and what about the other aspects of living? Work and being productive is good for health and if you prevent people from working, as well as destroying relationships by isolating people, then it can’t be right”.
He believes digital media has enabled this pandemic and thatonline news and social media have fed a morbid appetite for grim daily updates. The public have meekly complied with lockdowns due to terrorising fear campaigns by the media, NHS and government and are now too scared to get on with their lives.
Sociologist Professor Frank Furedi suggested cultural forces created the conditions that enabled the trade-off between freedom and security, saying,“The values attached to freedom have sharply declined and it is being used as a threat to our safety and security”. Furedi spoke of Western risk-aversion and safety-obsession and asked if anybody actually feels safer by locking-down. He believes we feel safer, and do better, by coming together.
“In the last decade or so, people have been primed to be frightened and to look to the state for remedy,” said psychologist Zenobia Storah, who believes that by isolating the population the government has totally disregarded everything we know about human beings. “We are social animals and need interaction and social contact for our health and survival”. Storah spoke about adverse effects on children, who are neither susceptible to, nor likely to transmit the illness, but who have unduly suffered the brunt of lockdown measures because of school closures, abusive PPE policies and needless social restrictions.
The government have amplified the fear element and those who have suffered the most are those who were already vulnerable. 2.2 million people sought mental health support last year and urgent care for children who have self-harmed has risen by 19-22% since January. There has also been increased cognitive decline and a rise in mobility issues among the elderly due to being housebound, lonely and terrified for eighteen months.
In a panel discussion, mathematician Norman Fenton told how covid statistics are flawed because the data metrics aren’t presented properly: “We should be asking how many positive cases are actually people who are ill. Of those, how many are hospitalised or die, and of those who die, how many die ‘with’ covid and ‘from’ it?” Fenton analysed the statistics and pointed out that you have a 9.1% chance of actually having the virus if you test positive.
Virus particles are about the same size as smoke particles and you need 5,000 of them to transmit the virus, according to diagnostic pathologist Clare Craig. PCR tests detect just fourparticles, are super-sensitive, difficult to do properly and prone to cross-contamination (the CDC reported a 33% false positive rate due to cross-contamination). Dr Craig thinks covid has been over-diagnosed and that the testing system has been set up to maximise positive results. She explained that transmission of covid (and other respiratory viruses) is not yet fully understood.
Craig discussed the misuse and fallibility of tests, describing how a sample of air could test positive for covid. A positive result alone is not a reliable indicator of disease, nor is vaccination proof of immunity. It’s complex. We have virus particles in our bodies all the time but what’s crucial is whether the virus enters our cells and makes us ill. Some people are more susceptible than others and it largely depends on age, weight, ethnicity and comorbidities.
The real problem with transmission lies in hospitals and with people who are already ill. Hospital transmission in England was 40% in spring 2020 but many cases were incidental (people already hospitalised for something else, not for covid). Craig suggested that money would be well spent upgrading hospital air filtration systems and increasing and improving intensive care facilities.
US Physician Peter McCullough has seen excellent results with early home drug treatment and insists it makes all the difference but believes successful protocols have been suppressed to, “keep people in fear and suffering and promote hospitalisation and death to get the public to accept the goal of vaccination,” which he added is showing, “strong signs of mortality”.
PANDA (Pandemic Analytics & Data) co-founder and actuary Nick Hudson reminded us that pandemic theory is not fact and should be questioned. He said that while there is a notion of universal susceptibility, the fatality rate for infected under-seventies is only 0.01%. Hudson referred to ‘Orwellian truth ministries’ and an institutional takeover of science by vaccine makers.
Expert in constitutional law, Barrister Francis Hoar, believes this is a crisis of culture and politics far more than a crisis of health and said, “the government have put public health officials in charge and that in itself is a crisis of democracy”. The Public Health Act (1984) has been abused and was never designed to allow the government the kind of extraordinary powers whereby it could lock down the entire country and quarantine healthy people.
The conclusions and solutions are clear and straightforward: The government has overstepped the mark and its powers need restricting. The public need to know their rights and start asserting them to recapture the narrative. Fear programming and anti-social measures need to go and never return because they are ineffective and widely harmful. The habitual wearing of masks has no measurable effect on the spread of covid (they might make it worse) and there is no evidence of asymptomatic transmission. Quarantining and testing healthy people, especially children, is pointless and contributes to a false positive ‘casedemic’.
Professor David Livermore said covid is here to stay and will eventually weaken and become like all other coronaviruses. Unvaccinated children and the young will develop natural immunity, which is stronger and longer lasting. We should continue to protect the most vulnerable in society but it is essential we get back to living our lives before they disappear completely.
To watch the Question Everything summit in full, go to: https://www.questioneverything.io/replay/
Copyright Louize Small, July 2021.
All Rights Reserved.