Anyone who has followed my scribblings knows that I approach behavioural psychology with extreme caution. This concern predates COVID by decades – see Outcomes, outcomes, outcomes for something written in the last decade. In previous posts, I have voiced my concern at the explicit and conscious stoking of fear fuelled by the SAGE Behavioural Group in the UK. At the heart of its cynical propaganda has been the mask. A month or so ago I ended a section on masks as follows:
In essence, the mask seeks to muzzle us into obedience. It confirms that we are in dire danger. Itdemands that we police one another into compliance. It is the visible expression of the desire to divide us from one another, to undermine our humanity. It is about social and political control. It serves no other purpose.
The Mitsotakis government in Greece is determined to keep us in our place – at least until the tourist season starts. Thus, as I write, we are under mandatory manners to wear face coverings inside [preferably duplex] and in the great outdoors. There are heavy fines to pay if we are disobedient. Pragmatic contempt is to be seen. No masks in the villages, masks worn or in readiness in the big towns. And, as for out in the olive groves, foothills and mountains we are at one with nature and humanity, looking each other in the eye.
Nevertheless, I was thinking of rehearsing the arguments once more but I’ve been saved the trouble by a challenging piece, composed by Gary Sidley, a retired NHS consultant clinical psychologist and a founder member of the Smile Free campaign to remove all mask mandates. It poses disturbing questions for the trade unions, the bureaucrats and the members, together with educators on the ground, be they, lecturers, teachers or youth workers.
Let’s face it -Governments use masking to force compliance, not fight viruses
Searching for Understanding in the face of Power and Propaganda Part Four: Who is misinforming Whom?
From the dramatic announcement of COVID’s deathly appearance at the beginning of 2020 trying to understand what’s been going on has been haunted by the dilemma of who to believe? The dominant narrative is said to be following the Science, absurd but monotonically repeated, its ridiculous simplicity hardly questioned by a compliant mainstream media. More or less any criticism of this narrative has been derided and defamed. Perfectly legitimate, informed and plausible alternatives proposed by scientists thinking differently censored.
None of the following is original and for some readers may seem tedious, even obvious. Yet, in my attempted conversations with others, particularly perhaps members of the better educated as they might put it, I’ve been struck by an unquestioning allegiance to the official line. Indeed implicit is their scarcely veiled view that considering and researching dissent is to sup with the Devil or even David Icke. Or perhaps more mundanely they indicate that such moidering about the nature of the pandemic is unnecessary and discomforting. As best I can, I’ve attempted to follow the dominant explanations of the threat posed by the virus, together with the rebuttals to this controlled consensus offered by a passionate and prestigious array of health professionals and others from across the globe. As it is I cannot possibly cover the range of medical and ethical dilemmas raised by this opposition. Thus I’m going to address the principal areas of contention that seem to come up in the everyday, often frustrating exchanges of the last 18 months. As I often excused myself to my dear late friend, Malcolm Ball, “it’s my best thinking thus far’ and it is in this provisional spirit that the following is offered.
The virus did not appear out of thin air. You and I might have been taken aback, having other stuff on our minds. On the contrary, the ruling class, fronted by its management team of arrogant CEOs, servile politicians and a motley crew of entrepreneurs, behavioural and medical experts, was in quite another place. Given the ongoing economic crisis, the ever-present risk of hyperinflation, the elite was sanguine re the prospect of emergencies, of pandemics. At the very least these occurrences offered both breathing space and a living laboratory within which to test out measures that might be in its interest.
Indeed the powerful had been disappointed by the failure of the 2009 Swine Flu to get off the ground. Vaccines aplenty gone to waste as the frightening forecasts of thousands dead did not materialise. Undeterred, in October 2019 the World Economic Forum and Johns Hopkins University organised Event 201. This was a training exercise based on a zoonotic coronavirus starting a worldwide pandemic. The experience was sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and GAVI the vaccine alliance. The organising executive published its findings and recommendations in November 2019 as a Public-Private Cooperation for PandemicPreparedness and Response: A Call to Action. One month later, China recorded its first case of “Covid”.
The idea of vaccine passports didn’t come out of the blue either. In the autumn of 2019 the European Union published its ‘Vaccination Roadmap’ a long-term policy plan to spread vaccine “awareness and understanding” whilst counteracting “vaccine myths” and combatting “vaccine hesitancy”. It mooted the feasibility of developing a common vaccination card/passport for EU citizens. On September 12, 2019 at the joint EU-WHO ‘Global Vaccination Summit’, they announced the ‘10 Actions Towards Vaccination for All’, which confirmed their shared sense of purpose. Without a doubt, they were ahead of the game.
CASES, CASES, CASES
“It’s just a process that is used to make a whole lot of something out of something. It doesn’t tell you that you are sick and it doesn’t tell you that the thing you ended up with was going to hurt you or anything like that.” [Dr Karry Mullis, Nobel Prize winner for his invention of the PCR test]
The inventor’s caveat has been wilfully ignored by the medical profession. His caution is unbeknown to most of us. The former hail the test as the ‘gold standard’. As for ourselves, bound to trust in the Science, we apparently believe that the test speaks the truth. The number of cases produced by the test, forever spiking and surging, rarely ebbing, represents the existential threat from which all compliance follows. In the mainstream media, for example, the Guardian has carried on its front page throughout a banner citing the number of cases found each and every day. It exudes anxiety. Elsewhere, on the internet’s COVID forums, the members seem to gather in a collective virtual breakfast to peruse the latest figures in their locality. Even a small increase is seemingly welcomed, proof that the followers of the masquerade are blessed to be the righteous and that the ill-disciplined maskless are the Devil’s work.
‘Detection of viral RNA may not indicate the presence of an infectious virus or that 2019-nCoV is the causative agent for clinical symptoms …this test cannot rule out diseases caused by other bacterial or viral pathogens.’ [USA Centre for Disease Control and Prevention]
Those convinced of COVID’s murderous intention shy away from the following concerns regarding its actual presence in our lives.
The PCR test is flawed, unreliable and never intended to be a diagnostic tool.
Insofar as it discovers something, a shred of material, it does not know if this is alive or dead, whether it is the common cold, flu, another respiratory virus or COVID.
Even discovering something depends on the amplification of the material in question, the number of cycles used – less than 30x is likely to produce a negative result, more than 35x likely to be positive. The NHS cycle threshold [Ct] is 40x. The World Health Organisation itself admits that ‘when specimens return a high Ct value, it means that many cycles were required to detect virus. In some circumstances, the distinctionbetween background noise and actual presence of the target virus is difficult to ascertain.‘
Mass testing flies in the face of the normal relationship between a medical practitioner and someone seeking help, advice and diagnosis. Put crudely healthy people with no symptoms do not go to the doctor. The mass testing of the population for a virus with a survival rate of well over 99% is a remarkable step to take. Inevitably the more the testing, the more the cases. Significantly the daily record of cases, seized upon by the media, is never broken down. What symptoms are being found and to what degree are these being displayed by those tested positive?
In fact, the majority of covid cases/infections seem to be asymptomatic with over 75% experiencing little or no symptoms. It is unsurprising that this awkward statistic has been buried and replaced by the outrageous deceit of ‘asymptomatic transmission’. Key to the spread of fear has been the notion that anyone, friend, neighbour or passer-by could be without anyone knowing dangerously infectious. This misanthropic myth continues to inform the belief that children are a threat to their elders, particularly the eldest, their beloved grandparents.
“From the data we have, it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual.” [Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit}
The WHO confirmed that asymptomatic spread was not a consideration when it stated in a media briefing in June 2020: ‘Based on our data, it seems unlikely that an asymptomatic carrier will transmit the infection to someone else. We have a number of reports from other countries. They monitor asymptomatic carriers, their contacts, and do not detect further transmission.’
Certainly, the issue of the number of people entering hospital as a result of COVID is acute. Yet even here all is not straightforward. According to Public Health England, a ‘Covid hospitalisation’ is anyone admitted to hospital for any reason within 28 days of a positive Covid test. This includes patients, who are admitted for other medical reasons and given the regularity of testing within a notoriously infectious institution have every chance of becoming a positive case.
Almost from the beginning of the ‘pandemic’ to demur from the official line has been met with the emotive cry, ‘there are people dying!’ The inference is plain and passionately declaimed. To be dissident is to display one’s callous indifference to loss of life. It is a charge that sticks in the craw, coming as it often does from people, who have turned their backs across the decades against the catastrophic consequences of capitalist exploitation and imperialist adventures – millions dead, the brutal legacy of its barbarism. It is a smear, all the more offensive, coming from people, who have voted without a moment’s doubt for the privatised dismembering of the NHS, prior to now ostentatiously clapping in orchestrated coordination for the poorly paid carers, to whom previously they’ve never given a fleeting thought of concern. Critically this wilful, deluded ignorance pays no attention whatsoever to the damage wrought by the one-sided policy, the lives lost and ruined by default. As I write no rigorous audit has been undertaken to weigh up the human costs on either side of the COVID balance sheet. Twenty months on, why hasn’t there been a serious cost-benefit anaysis?
Like it or not the number of heart-rending deaths from COVID is grossly inflated. Countries around the globe have been defining a ‘Covid death’ as a ‘death by any cause within 28/30/60 days of a positive test’. Removing any distinction between dying of COVID itself, and dying with COVID from something else distorts utterly the situation we are facing.
The vast majority of COVID deaths have serious underlying comorbidities. In March 2020, the Italian government published statistics showing 99.2% of their COVID death had at least one serious comorbidity. These included cancer, heart disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s, kidney failure and diabetes, among others. Over 50% of the deceased had three or more serious pre-existing health problems. This pattern seems to hold up across the globe. In the UK an October 2020 Freedom of Information request to to the Office of National Statistics revealed less than 10% of the official “COVID death” count at the time identified COVID as the sole cause of death.
Is it covidiotic to question whether COVID is the 21st-century version of the Great Plague of 1665, an explicit and implicit analogy utilised cynically by the army of doom-mongers in the service of the powerful?
‘Experience has shown that communities faced with epidemics or other adverse events respond best and with the least anxiety when the normal social functioning of the community is least disrupted’.[ Donald Henderson 2006 – architect of the victory over smallpox]
In Spring 2020, here on Crete, the first round of the general lockdown was surreal. By chance, I was in Chania, a big city by our standards, on the first day of restrictions. The atmosphere was light-hearted as the sophisticated Xaniots laughed and elbowed rather than hugged and kissed one another. Back in my rural village, a gentle philosophy prevailed. The almost deserted streets reminded the older residents of life in the 1960s – only the donkeys were missing. Quickly, though, the good humour evaporated as the impact of all but closing down people’s lives hit home. Family and community ties threatened. Children and young people’s education undermined. Small businesses devastated. Society’s good health on all sorts of levels, mental and physical visibly worsened.
Lockdowns do not prevent the spread of disease. There is scant evidence that this draconian intervention decreases the number of COVID deaths. Comparisons between regions that locked down and those that didn’t has revealed no discernible pattern.
In October 2020 Dr David Nabarro, World Health Organization special envoy for Covid-19 described lockdowns as a ‘global catastrophe[.
‘We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of the virus[…] it seems we may have a doubling of world poverty by next year. We may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition […] This is a terrible, ghastly global catastrophe.‘
Unemployment, poverty, suicide, alcoholism, drug use and other social/mental health crises are, to borrow a term, surging all over the world. Meanwhile, missed, delayed surgeries and screenings are inevitably going to see increased mortality from such as heart disease and cancer in the immediate future….and inexorably increase the pressure on health services world-wide. Meanwhile in the UK as winter beckons, what’s new?
Yet we are constantly told that lockdowns will protect the NHS. Yet as part of its COVID policy, the NHS announced in Spring of 2020 that it would be “re-organizing hospital capacity in new ways to treat Covid and non-Covid patients separately” and that “as result hospitals will experience capacity pressures at lower overall occupancy rates than would previously have been the case.” Thus the NHS reduced the possible occupancy of beds in the face of a supposedly deadly pandemic. In addition, millions were spent on emergency ‘Nightingale’ hospitals, which never saw action in the war on COVID. Contradiction and inconsistency abound. Hypocrisy and opportunism ever present. Dedication and concern exhausted.
Lockdowns kill people. There is growing evidence that lockdowns – through worsening people’s social and economic circumstances – are deadlier than COVID with all its inevitable variants.
For those wedded to the official narrative wearing a mask has become the emblem of being responsible, of illustrating a philanthropic concern for the common good. For those of us at odds the donning of a face covering signals abject obedience to the State, a misanthropic mistrust of fellow human beings. Of course, life is more complicated and contradictory than this dualism. None of which prevents governments wheeling on stage the mask mandate whenever convenient.
On the ground, as ever, the ordinary reality defies the exhortations from the corridors of privilege. The ridiculous idea that people, as they go about their business, are split between the diligently covered and the negligently naked is forever exposed. On the streets of Chania, my nearest urban setting, the inhabitants wear masks or none, wear them below the nose, chin, hanging around their necks or wrists, wear them clean or mucky as they prefer. Some kilometres away, only the other day on a moon-lit evening in my village square we gathered together to celebrate the lighting of the Christmas Tree. With little sense of eccentricity or irresponsibility, almost none of us felt the need to hide our faces. I suspect that this mishmash of responses to the masking mandate is quite typical. Instinctively we mistrust this imposed relational barrier. At best we are half-hearted in our compliance. Most of the time we neither do it properly nor consistently. Against this messy backcloth, the idea that politicians and advisers can make positive claims about the efficacy of masking is absurd.
Three weeks before the UK’s first lockdown, the UK’s Chief Medical Officer advised that “In terms of wearing a mask, our advice is clear: that wearing a mask if you don’t have an infection reduces the risk almost not at all. So we do not advise that.” Then, with absolutely no new hard evidence to change that assessment, politics trumped science when masks were legally mandated on public transport in England on 15 June last year and then on 24 July in shops.
Masks don’t work. At least a dozen scientific studies have shown that masks do nothing to stop the spread of respiratory viruses. To add insult to injury masks aren’t that good for us. Wearing one for long periods, wearing the same one more than once is not so smart. I’ll leave till another day the obscenity of insisting that children are masked.
Masks aren’t great news for the planet. Millions upon millions of disposable masks have been used per month for over a year. A report from the UN found the COVID pandemic will likely result in plastic waste, notably in the form of face masks. more than doubling in the next few years.
In essence the mask seeks to muzzle us into obedience. It confirms that we are in dire danger. It demands that we police one another into compliance. It is the visible expression of the desire to divide us from one another, to undermine our humanity. It is about social and political control. It serves no other purpose.
I’m a post-Second World War child, never thought much about vaccinations. They seemed, as best I remember, a very good thing, giving long-lasting protection against threats such as measles and polio, the latter especially. Insofar as I thought about it, medical advance was to be welcomed. Later on, my naivete was briefly disturbed by the thalidomide tragedy, all the more so as I fell in love with the voice of Thomas Quasthoff.
I was moved by his fortitude and his amazing talent before shrugging my shoulders and hiding my head in the sands. Yet, somehow and from somewhere, when the ‘pandemic’ kicked off I was wary about the leading role being assumed by Big Pharma and the promise of vaccine salvation. In particular, I was struck by the lack of interest in finding immediate ways of ameliorating the symptoms of COVID infection.
The COVID ‘vaccines’ are unprecedented. Before 2020 no successful vaccine against a human coronavirus had been developed. While traditional vaccines work by exposing the body to a weakened strain of the microorganism responsible for causing the disease, these new COVID ‘vaccines’ are the product of a laboratory breakthrough in genomic sequencing. So far, so good and clearly there is much promise. However the inventor of the technology himself, Dr Robert Malone has expressed serious concern about its use in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
The mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) vaccines theoretically work by injecting viral mRNA into the body, where it replicates inside your cells and encourages your body to recognise and make antigens in response to the “spike proteins” of the virus. They have been the subject of research since the 1990s, but before 2020 no mRNA vaccine was ever approved for use.
Despite claims by corporate-funded fact-checking sites that everything about the ‘vaccines’, despite the rapidity of their evolution is above board, there is no getting away from the fact that the drugs are on trial. They are only in use because of enabling emergency authorisation provided by the United States Food and Drug Agency [FDA]. Confidence in the process is not enhanced when, for example, Pfizer admits:
‘The long-term effects and efficacy of the Vaccine are not currently known and that there may be adverse effects of the Vaccine that are not currently known’.
Such an admission troubles not our governments, granting vaccine manufacturers legal indemnity if unfortunately, their products inflict harm. The USA’s Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP) grants immunity until at least 2024. A similar EU licensing law offers the same protection, whilst the UK not to be outdone has agreed on permanent indemnity for any harm done when a patient is being treated for COVID.
At the centre of an utterly legitimate caution or refusal to be inoculated has been the complete ditching of the principle of informed consent. To take the obvious how many of those vaccinated were anything but the next in the queue? How many were involved in a serious conversation ahead of the jab about the ups and downs of being inoculated, about the possible immediate and longer-term consequences?
The public at large was encouraged to believe that it would be fully vaccinated after two jabs, the implication being that full protection would be forthcoming. In fact, the vaccine manufacturers themselves knew full well that the efficacy of their gene-based creations was based on ’reducing the severity of symptoms’. Indeed at a later moment conducive to its interests, they have granted that the ‘vaccines’ do not confer immunity or prevent transmission. From which sobering time we have entered the period of the much-needed 6 months, nay 3-month booster. Evidently, the protection from the vaccine wanes quickly after 90 days. Perchance the vaccine is not the triumph trumpeted. Perhaps we can imagine the setting up of a national vaccination subscription scheme. All of these developments are intimately related to the contrived anxiety about what are the inevitable appearance of variants.
Are we not allowed a wry smile at the calculated coincidence of circumstances? An Omicron variant of mild disposition triggers a global panic, lends fuel to renewed restrictions on social existence. Thankfully Big Pharma rides to the rescue, not only in the shape of today’s boosters but also tomorrow’s. BioNtech’s CEO steps up to the plate, announcing that his company will have an Omicron-targeted 3 dose [!] vaccine on the market by March! Surely, surely we smell a rat. Enough for now.
I’ve scribbled a number of versions of this post and binned them, All in danger of saying far too much and saying far too little. This effort could go the same way but it is what is, replete with weaknesses and silences. It will have to do for now. It is merely food for thought.
If I’m to recommend just one alternative source of information, analysis and opinion about COVID it is Swiss Policy Research
Amongst lacunae I hope to fill in a Part Five made up of shorter pieces are:
Masking and Vaccinating Children and Young People
The suppression of alternative treatments for COVID
The demise of the individual patient and her replacement by people as generalised infection risks
Focused Protection and Immunity
Big Pharma and Profit
Vaccination Passports and the pandemic of the vaccinated
Hopefully, the latter discussion will return me to my overwhelming concern – the character of the present profound social, political and economic crisis, the totalitarian intentions of the ruling class and the possibilities of collective resistance.
A final necessary confession. Back in June I succumbed to pressures largely of my own making and had the second of my Astra-Zeneca jabs. As a fit 74 year old I didn’t feel vulnerable but I wanted to travel to see family and dear friends. My rationalisation didn’t prevent me from shedding a few pathetic tears. Time does not stand still. I am not off the leash of principle. If I am to remain an approved member of society the Greek government demands that I have a booster in the next few months. We will see what transpires.