Boris Johnson has reversed a decision to further relax lockdown restrictions in England from Saturday, as the chief medical officer says the country is “at the outer edge” of how far society can reopen with coronavirus. As many predicted, the lockdown will continue indefinitely, with the government keeping the ‘second wave’ clampdown for later in the year this action amounts to the status-quo. Speaking at a hastily arranged Downing Street press conference, the prime minister said he was pausing the reopening of leisure businesses, such as casinos and bowling alleys, and preventing beauty salons resuming close-up treatments, for at least two weeks.
In typical poetic words that underplay the true cost of these actions Johnson said it was time to “squeeze that brake pedal in order to keep that virus under control”. With supposed infections rising, Prof Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England who destroyed over half a million British holidays only a week ago, believes that Britain has “reached the limits of reopening.” Johnson said rules on face coverings, the important visible sign of the pandemic for the public, would be extended from 8 August, meaning people would be obliged to wear them in indoor venues such as museums, galleries and cinemas, and that there would be greater police enforcement of mask-wearing. Pilot sports events would be cancelled from 1 August and the decision to allow weddings to have up to 30 guests from this weekend was also being reversed. It must be noted that none of these scenarios have been lab-tested with double blind control groups, but the random targets of ‘experts’ who are, by their own admission, making it up as they go along.
However, guidance that employers should allow more staff to begin working from offices again will still be in place from Saturday, part of a government push to get the daytime commuter economy moving again. Shielding advice for up to 2.2 million people who were advised to avoid leaving their homes from March would also be lifted as planned.
Together with these announcements The government, and the media, have released the inevitable meaningless figures as if these provide justification for their demands. The most meaningless being new infections, as this is only a figure of those tested, and NOT those infected, and also gives us no indication of the infections impact on them. It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of people have been infected already, and the virus in most cases was so mild as to not even be noticeable by those with it. The media also readily interchange the infected rate and the death rate, giving further weight to the meaningless number.
The announcements came hours after the government imposed new restrictions on more than 4 million people across northern England. “I’m really, really sorry about that, but we just cannot take the risk,” Johnson said about the impact on businesses and families. Speaking alongside the prime minister, (half)Whitty who has become the focus of the anti-lockdown debate since his co-conspirator; Neil Ferguson slithered away, said that "as long as coronavirus was in the community the economy and society could not open up much further." New official data showing rising infection levels meant England was “at the outer edge of what we can do” in terms of reopening, Whitty said.
“So what that means, potentially, is if we wish to do more things in the future, we may have to do less of some other things,” he said. “And these will be difficult trade-offs, some of which will be decisions of government and some of which are for all of us, as citizens, to do. “But we have to be realistic about this; the idea we can open up everything and keep the virus under control is clearly wrong.”
Johnson said that since he gave a press conference in mid-July about the gradual easing of rules, “in many ways that progress continues”, such as falling numbers of hospital patients. But, he added: “I have also continually warned that this crisis could come back and we would not hesitate to take swift and decisive action as required.” Citing new statistics showing a rising national incidence in Covid-19 cases, Johnson said the time had come to “act rapidly”, saying local lockdowns, such as the recent one in Leicester, had worked well. He also warned of potentially stronger reversals to come: “At this stage, we are not changing the rules on social contact nationally. I don’t want to tell people to spend less time with their friends. But unless people follow the rules and behave safely, we may need to go further.” Predictably, nobody from the allowed Media challenged him on these, frankly, incredible admissions.
There appears to be an utter disconnect between what the media are telling us and what we are experiencing in our own lives. Does anyone actually know of someone who has ever even had Covid-19, not least anyone who has definitely died from it? No, not those hypochondriacs who claim they have the flu every winter but really suffer a cold, and no, not the anecdotal evidence the media ram down our throats every night. Ask yourself, do you know anyone in your circle of friends or family, who have been confirmed as having had it?
We have been fed six months of incessant fear. Meaningless numbers writ large on screen every night; manipulated charts to emphasise infection rates; and 80,000 people on a list that will, eventually, be classed as all being Covid-Deaths. Even today Whitty tried blinding us with science by saying overall deaths for this time of year are ‘above average’ which is another meaningless statistic. An ‘average’ is by definition in the middle, and for that figure to be reached it will have needed to include above and below figures. If he were anywhere near truthful he would have told us that overall death rates are not as high as those years when we had severe flu strains, such as 2009.
These things are no accident, Whitty may look stupid (well, vacant) but he is by no means an idiot. This is done on purpose, to give the impression we are in the middle of a pandemic. But all of the evidence says that we are not.