It was a guess, and we now see that the experts got it wrong, very wrong, yet we are still being forced down this route.
"Get Brexit done" was a snappy slogan that won Boris Johnson the December election. It was short, easy to remember and repeated at every opportunity. It was so effective that the same technique has been used in the Coronavirus crisis, and with similar effect. People all across Britain have done the first thing, revering the second, and assuming the third.
But unlike the first slogan that was a promise to the people, the Coronavirus slogan 'Stay Home; Protect The NHS; Save Lives' is an instruction. It is repeated on every television station, every radio broadcast, and on every website. You cannot escape it on any media platform at any time. Its invasive, repetitive in nature and reminiscent of Orwell's 1984.
The daily death figures from hospitals have dominated news headlines and the government’s press briefings during Britain’s coronavirus crisis. Those figures have been in decline for some time now. The peak of hospital deaths was passed some three weeks ago; on 8th April.
The passing of this milestone has lead a number of experts, such as Professor Carl Heneghan, director of Oxford University’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine to argue that the number of infections was dropping considerably before the government introduced the lockdown, bringing into question the entire policy.
Professor Heneghan is by no means alone in his analysis of how Public Health England are drawing faulty conclusions based on confirmation bias. Despite this, the government insists that the lockdown is working, (well they would wouldn't they?), and that any loosening of the restrictions could, in the words of first secretary of state Dominic Raab, ‘undo that hard work’.
Now that Care Home deaths have been included in the figures there's a realisation that we haven't stopped deaths with the lockdown, we've merely been looking in the wrong direction. The number of deaths in care homes has soared. There has been no real flattening of the curve, we merely looked the other way whilst thousands of elderly people died in traumatic circumstances, unable to have their family by their side, and not even cared for by doctors and nurses, just care-workers on minimum wage. Elderly people have been the sacrificial lambs of a policy to 'not overwhelm the NHS' a truth that we must all come to terms with in years to come. Instead of concentrating our efforts and our resources in care homes, which we knew would be hit the hardest, we decided to Quarantine the healthy.
Government guidance, published in early April, made clear that care homes would be expected to pick up the slack: ‘Hospitals around the country need as many beds as possible to support and treat an increasing number of Covid-19 cases. This means the NHS will seek to discharge more patients into care homes for the recovery period.’
What’s more, this guidance explicitly covered patients who had contracted Covid-19: ‘If an individual has… tested positive for Covid-19 but is no longer showing symptoms and has completed their isolation period, then care should be provided as normal.’ To underscore the point, it makes clear that, ‘Negative tests are not required prior to transfers / admissions into the care home’.
This document shows the NHS has been happily discharging patients who may still be infected with Covid-19 into care homes. These patients have then been able to pass on the infection to other elderly residents, sometimes via carers who are working with inadequate PPE and visiting multiple sites. Professor Heneghan tells the Science Media Centre that the policy amounts to putting ‘a person with an active infection into a home setting where other people are in significant numbers and are vulnerable’.
GP Dr Malcolm Kendrick has called this policy the ‘anti-lockdown strategy’. ‘The entire nation has been locked down. Do not travel, stay two metres apart, do not go outside blah, blah. Meanwhile, we have the perfect anti-lockdown policy in place for the very people we are mostly supposed to be protecting’, he writes. It is a ‘system perfectly designed to spread Covid among the vulnerable elderly population’.
The entire policy has really been to 'protect the NHS'. In the rush to do so, thousands of appointments, beds and operations were cancelled. One Cancer charity estimating some 160,000 addition deaths over the next 5 years caused by late diagnosis and treatment due entirely to the Coronavirus policy. Perhaps we should be adding those figures into the death rates. Again we appear just to be moving the problem.
Darren Birks for Vision News