It is becoming increasingly difficult to make any sense of conflicting reports about the current health crisis.
Take this exchange, found today on Twitter.
· Jan 1
“It was minimally affecting children in the first wave… we now have a whole ward of children here.”
Laura Duffel, a matron in a London Hospital, tells Adrian Chiles about the Covid situation in hospitals.
I’ve been the on call consultant in a london children’s hospital this week – this is simply not true, and irresponsible in the extreme – frightens parents, fuels covid-deniers. Covid is rife in hospitals, but not among children. We have enough to deal with without this garbage.
Twitter reply, January the third.
Given the recent spike in Covid-19 cases and hospital admissions, the news reports are full of stories about overwhelmed hospitals. Seriously ill patients are being driven from one county to another in the hope of finding a hospital bed for them.
Understandably, the question has been asked. Why not use the purpose built Nightingale Hospitals? They were built in record time earlier this year, with the assistance of the Army. Every bed had access to a ventilator, and they were specifically designed to accommodate Coronavirus patients, thereby allowing other hospitals to continue to see other patients who did not have Covid-19.
The one in London at the Excel Centre cost tens of millions of pounds to convert and equip.
Journalists went there, to see how it was coping with the recent rise in cases.
They found it had been dismantled. It is now mostly an empty building, guarded by security staff who are supposed to stop people finding that out. But they told the reporters anyway. This is what they said.
It has no hospital beds inside.
It has no ventilators or oxygen inside.
It has no operational medical staff inside.
The equipment has apparently been ‘redeployed’ to other areas of the NHS.
Yes, it was all a great lie. Built with the help of the Army, and equipped by companies owned by friends of Boris Johnson and his cronies, only to be stripped out at the earliest opportunity. Don’t forget this, when the next election comes around.
Five hundred Intensive care beds just removed without public consultation, at a time when they are needed more than ever before in history.
Boris and his pals should be hanging from lamp-posts.
But nobody seems to care.
I do though.
Covid-19 is still making the news. A huge percentage of the British population is enduring a second lockdown, and President Trump has gone into hospital for treatment.
They are now talking up the ‘second wave’. Is it any wonder, when the bars and pubs opened here, and we were treated to videos of groups of (mainly young) people enjoying parties and fun-filled gatherings? Or when Mr Trump thought it was okay to have a presentation in the Rose Garden with nobody wearing masks, and all of the cuddling or chatting close together. Or when the schools were forced back, resulting in large numbers of infections almost immediately.
Then we have the various conspiracy theorists who claim it doesn’t exist, or if it does, it is not that serious. Yes, more people still die from cancer, heart attacks, and even road fatalaties all over the world. But is this a reason to blatantly ignore the advice of medical professionals, or to overturn the hard work of so many medical staff since January?
I doubt this is a second wave, as the first wave never went away. We now have the winter flu season to deal with, when so many people will have the symptoms associated with Covid-19. That will mean more demand for testing, and possibly more deaths being counted as Coronavirus related.
So please stay safe. Carry on abiding by the commonsense rules not to spread the virus, or contract it. And above all, don’t believe it isn’t real.
(This post was created using the new block Editor. I was unable to work out how to insert any images, but wil use this blog to try to learn how to use this pesky, hateful thing!)
The government here is celebrating. Only 41 deaths from coronavirus notified in a 24-hour period. That confirms their intention to reopen the hospitality sector, and reduce the supposedly ‘safe distance’ from 2 metres to 1 very soon.
Only 41! Hurrah!
Think about that 41. Those people had husbands, wives, children. Relatives including aunts, uncles, and cousins. They had work colleagues, as well as lifelong friends. For every one of those 41, you can add at least 100 people who will be affected by their death, for the rest of their lives.
So to my mind, that should read 4,100, not 41.
And if you see it the same way as I do, you will surely agree.
41 is still too many.
China has been accused of being responsible for the outbreak of Covid-19. I thought for a long time that the proximity of biological research laboratories to Wuhan was no coincidence. This article offers a very different theory, and is worth reading.
I have been reading and watching the growing number of disturbing reports in Britain that claim the fact that virus deaths are disproportionate in people from backgrounds that include African, West Indian, and the Indian sub-continent are ‘deliberate negligence’. There is a Facebook group of British Muslims who openly accuse the NHS and the government of allowing their relatives to die, because of their ethnicity. One member even called it ‘ethnic cleansing’.
Now I see on the BBC that the new Labour Party leader is calling for a public enquiry into this, and it is to be led by Baroness Lawrence, a black woman who is famous for campaigning for justice for her murdered son many years ago.
I have to say that I personally find these accusations to be appalling. I worked in the NHS for 22 years, and know many who still do, including my own wife. I never saw any different treatment given to non-white people, and I worked in an area of huge cultural diversity.
To save Baroness Lawrence the time, and to save public expenditure, I can offer the following suggestions about why the differential in deaths in ethnic minority groups might be happening. And it has nothing to do with racism, as anyone who knows me well will affirm that I am not racist.
1) Traditional living conditions, and culture.
It is rare these days for white British extended families to continue to live in the same house. You might be hard-pressed to find a house where grandparents, parents, children, and aunts and uncles all share the same dwelling. However, in many families with an Indian and Pakistani background that is NOT unusual. The same applies to some West Indian and African families. Therefore, their chances of infecting more people when they return from work or shopping trips are far greater.
Many people of the Muslim faith, and some Evangelical Christian groups come from those same backgrounds. Despite the current restrictions, it has been noted that some are still gathering in groups for religious services and celebrations. This is not the case with prdominantly white Church of England and Catholic followers.
3) City living.
The majority of people from those backgrounds live in areas where other people from those backgrounds also live. And they tend to be in larger cities, like London, Manchester and Birmingham. In Bradford, Yorkshire, Muslims from ethnic backgrounds make up 25% of the population. Therefore, living in populous towns and cities makes those people more susceptible to becoming infected.
4) Pre-existing medical conditions.
I can tell you from years of personal experience that people from those ethnic groups have a higher than average incidence of Diabetes. Much of this is caused by diet and lack of exercise, especially in the older age groups. They also have a very high rate of kidney falure, and the need for regular dialysis. This is supected to be genetic in origin. Being generally ill before the arrival of Covid-19 means you are much more likely to die, if you are infected. That is commonsense, not racism.
Much has been made of economic factors affecting survival. If this was the case, then the black and Indian doctors and nurses who have died would not have been affected, surely? Their income is above average, and in the case of surgeons, very high. And just as many white doctors and nurses have been infected and died. This is about being constantly exposed to infection. Not about how much you earn, and whether or not you are unemplyed and live on a housing estate.
By contrast, white British families tend to live separately. Children move out of home earlier, and grandparents rarely live in the family home. Uncles and aunts have their own accommodation, and family gatherings are usually limited to birthdays, weddings, and funerals. Our culture changed over the decades since my youth, but theirs did not. It’s not racist, it is just a fact. White British people have also been abandoning organised religion in huge numbers over the past forty years. Church attendances are falling, and nobody I know ever goes to any form of religious services. So, less gatherings, not racism.
In these difficult times, the last thing we need is criticism of the NHS, itself an employer of a huge percentage of staff from those same ethnic minorities claiming that those same people are actively allowing their relatives to die, and in some cases accusing them of facilitating their death by mistreatment.
Baroness Lawrence and the Labour leader should know better than to become involved in this sham of an enquiry.
Nicola Sturgeon is the First Minister of Scotland, and the leader of the Scottish National Party. She is a long-serving politician, and a staunch advocate for Scotland being an independent country, and remaining a member of the EU.
And she also bears a passing resemblance to the Scottish comedian Janette Tough, who performs as a schoolboy character called Jimmy Crankie.
For over twenty years, Sturgeon’s abrasive style and constant harping on about independence really got on my nerves. The sight of her popping up on a TV interview would have me reaching for the remote, either to change channels, or mute the sound.
Then along came Covid-19.
The British government waffled and delayed. The Prime Minister hid inside 10 Downing Street, before going to hide across the river in St Thomas’ Hospital. On his departure from hospital, he rushed off to his second residence in The Chilterns, to hide there. He left others to bungle the handling of the pandemic, hoping to get the sympathy vote for having been ill. That’s if he was ever ill to start with.
Contrast that with Scotland. Their leader, Sturgeon, has been taking control from the start. She gives detailed daily press conferences about exactly what is going on, and even tells the truth about how many deaths have occured in Scotland, and where they have happened too. She answers the questions from repoters without being evasive, or dodging the point. And she uses whatever devolved powers are available to the separate Sottish Government to do her very best for the people in that country.
I never thought I would say this, but she should be the Prime Minister of Britain. She would do a better job than the clowns currently in control.
Well done, Nicola. I am impressed.
So I am eating my words.
Not long after declaring he had the virus, Boris Johnson has been declared ‘fit and well’.
By an uncanny coincidence, after sheltering in a castle for a while, it seems Price Charles is fit and well too.
Wel that’s it. Everything is going to be fine. Nothing at all to worry about.
If those two such elevated personages can be cured of something they never had in the first place, then why are we concerned?
Panic over. Life goes back to normal.
Just hide somewhere for a while, (three days should do it) and it won’t kill you.
Do you still believe either of them really had it?
If so, I have got a bridge in London to sell you, going cheap.
Much has been made of the fact that the government is rushing to convert an existing conference and entertainment venue into a new ‘Hospital’. They are working hard in East London’s Excel Centre to create two ‘wards’ that will each accommodate 2,000 people. They have even given it a nice name, ‘The Nightingale Hospital’.
Does that sound good to you? Well it doesn’t to me.
I would like to know how they expect to treat 4,000 people lined up together in a massive space that is one kilometre long. How will they keep them apart at a safe distance? Will there be respirators for those needing life support? (Unlikely) Where will they find the doctors and nursing staff to treat them? (Answer, The Military)
So what we have here is a place where those who are expected to die are going to be sent to, to do just that. In a huge enclosed space called a hospital that is really only a death camp.
It will be run by the Army Medical Service, and no doubt guarded by troops too.
Are you worried yet?
This guy is working there to get it ready, and he is.
Now, he is taking it seriously, at long last.
Note his use of the words ‘Makeshift Hospital’. Not, ‘New Nightingale Hospital’. He also mentions the building of what he calls ‘Two morgues’.
I suggest that the whole place is just one big morgue. Eventually.
Anyone who reads this blog will know how much I detest the Royal Family, and the aristocracy that surrounds it. But in this time of panic and concern about Covid-19, it is worth looking back in history to the years 1939-1945.
During WW2, the Royal Family of King George VI led by example. They stayed in London, risking being bombed along with the population. They visited factories, and toured hospitals to speak to the injured soldiers and civilians. They walked around the bomb-damaged streets of the capital in the hope of cheering the war-weary populace. The young Princess Elizabeth served in the Army as a driver, and many male members of the Royals joined the armed forces and saw action overseas.
This solidarity with the British people earned them a great deal of respect, during and after that war. My parents’ generation never forgot how the privileged Royals were seen to have stuck it out with everyone else.
Fast forward to 2020, and the virus scare.
All of the Royals have completely disappeared from view. Scuttled off to castles or palaces, behind fences or walls, surrounded by armed guards. The people who normally love to be seen wandering around waving at crowds, or gracing the front pages of our newspapers, are notable for their absence.
They could be given suitable protective gear to visit those gravely ill. They could practice ‘social distancing’ as they toured the workplaces still being staffed by emergency workers, shop workers, and other essential services. The could inspire, lead by example, pay the nation back for the centuries of wealth and privilege they have enjoyed.
But no. They are hiding away, until it’s all over. Cowards.
Talk about showing your true colours.
Once the current pandemic has passed, don’t forget to wave and cheer at them when they next appear.