Alessandro Allori Portrait of a Lady c1560
Just a brief note on something I noticed yesterday and this morning. I’m not sure if this is predominantly a British issue, but even if it is, be sure it will spread to many nations. The issue is this: the narrative is being put on its head. It’s no longer the inoculation of millions upon millions of people with experimental and never approved substances that constitutes an experiment, the experiment now is NOT doing it.
You are now not a Covid guinea pig if you get one of the jabs that killed a estimated 20,000 people so far in Europe and the US and led to 100s of 1000s of severe adverse reactions. No, you’re a guinea pig if you don’t get a shot whose makers themselves say doesn’t protect you from infection. And don’t listen to Fauci et al who declare something “safe” because it only killed 20,000 people; they have no credibility left, they just still have the media on their side.
This is not a subtle shift, something one might expect when doing narrative control, it’s a full 180º, the “Ignorance is strength” variety. But if you read between the narrative lines, you might just pick up on the fact that this is coming from one of the most “successfully vaccinated” countries in the world, but where “cases” are skyrocketing once again.
And maybe just maybe this proves what the vaccine makers have said all along: that the vaccines do not protect you from infection. We should at least consider the possibility, and discuss it, and then act according to what we find. In the meantime, it looks like maybe whatever you do, you’re always a guinea pig.
Nicola Sturgeon has warned against treating young people like “guinea pigs” by allowing them to get infected with coronavirus when lifting restrictions, amid fears they remain at risk of significant health impacts such as long Covid. Scotland’s first minister said the desire to live free of lockdown-style restrictions did not mean governments could “throw all caution to the wind”, while suggesting the “domination” of England’s plans to scrap Covid rules risked confusing other UK nations. The steep rise in infections across Scotland caused by theDelta variant may be levelling off, Sturgeon added. The current spike has led to six Scottish health boards being placed among the top 10 worst-hit regions in Europe by the WHO last weekend.
The levelling off gave her “more cause for optimism” that she would be able to confirm the move to level 0 of Scotland’s five-tier system of Covid controls in parliament next Tuesday, she said, before emphasising that the planned easing on 19 July “won’t be an abrupt end to basic protective measures like face covering, physical distancing, rigorous hand hygiene and advising on good ventilation.” However, she pointed out the “significant” impact the virus can have on younger people, even if there is a lower risk of death. She said: “I want to set out simply why we can’t just throw all caution to the wind. Firstly, this virus is still dangerous, as we see every day. It is still taking lives, though mercifully, thanks to the vaccines, it is doing so in far fewer numbers than we saw in earlier stages.”
One group wants the country shut down forever, the other does not.
In a letter to the Lancet, over 100 global scientists have warned that rushing ahead with reopening on 19 July – rather than waiting until more people are vaccinated – is dangerous and premature. Those concerns will be compounded by the relaxation of travel restrictions announced on Thursday. Allowing children and double-vaccinated adults to travel to amber list countries without quarantining on return increases the risk of importing new variants which could be more infectious or more resistant to current vaccines, just as opportunities for transmission increase. The health secretary, Sajid Javid, concedes we could soon be looking at 100,000 cases a day, but argues that hospitalisation and death numbers are what matter more than anything.
Unfortunately, he will not say what figures he expects or would tolerate. The link between infection and serious illness or death has been much weakened, but not broken. Vaccination rates vary widely; in some areas, fewer than 30% have received two doses. On Thursday, the UK reported weekly rises of more than 50% in Covid hospital admissions and deaths – both of which lag rises in cases – to 456 and 35 respectively. The government’s chief medical adviser, Prof Chris Whitty, has said that we are likely to see a significant increase in long Covid; experts fear that huge numbers could be affected. Though the government talks of personal responsibility, there can be no responsibility without choice. For too many, danger is being imposed upon them. Vaccines are widely available, and people can still cover their faces.
But masks are better at protecting people from the wearer than protecting the wearer. Young workers on public transport or in shops, not yet able to get a second jab, will be exposed to the virus by customers who choose not to wear masks. They surely need and deserve protection. Children are currently unable to be vaccinated. The immunocompromised are less protected by vaccines and more likely to become seriously ill if they contract Covid. Reportedly, the department of health will be issuing new guidance for the immunosuppressed and clinically very vulnerable. But while support for shielders is needed, confining them to quarters indefinitely is hardly a liberation.
Nor is there much choice for exhausted NHS staff who face a soaring workload again, or for patients whose operations are being cancelled because hospitals are treating growing numbers of Covid patients or staff are having to self-isolate. If anything, the authors of the Lancet letter are too generous in describing this as “a dangerous and unethical experiment”: that terminology suggests a degree of scientific rigour and concern. Instead, this is a political wager, in which large parts of the population are not players but gambling chips.